Superintendent's Message

Dear Natick Community,

I want to begin this message by saying thank you — the Natick community-at-large — for supporting and participating in the process of identifying the next Superintendent of Schools for Natick.  Each school committee has to take on this process in a manner that makes sense for its community. No process in any town is ever worry or conflict free; the important part of these processes is that the community engages in open dialogue about choices and decisions.  I admire the open candor of all constituencies on all sides of debate related to this appointment. If we have not met, or you want to know a bit more about me, I share the following as an overview of my work and educational experience.

While I have served Natick for many years and in many capacities, the interview process to reach this point has been educational for me and will only serve to help me do the best job possible in this role. The information gathered from the focus groups, surveys, and interviews are not lost on me and will be used to help inform my leadership. It is important for you to know that you have been heard.  

The school committee and I remain committed to keeping community meetings and dialogue going and to that end, a series of coffees and office hours, both in-person and virtually, will be published. I hope you can all attend at some point and we can talk and meet. Many community members are satisfied with services, student achievement rates and supports--most notably, our strong teachers, in school intervention supports, curriculum experiences and course offerings, and range of after-school and academic offerings PK-12 consistently rise as areas of district respect. Others have indicated that we have work to do with regard to building trust and transparency in our daily work and seek more direct relationships with our administrative team.  I consider this the main priority for me personally and for our leadership teams. Still, others have indicated that some pain and mystery exist around certain programs; special education and student emotional and behavioral supports have risen up as areas in need of attention. But mostly, people are worried about maintaining the same level of support and opportunity for students as we continue to grow in numbers and student complexity. Indeed, immense challenges await us.  Budgets are tighter than ever, our students’ needs and our enrollment are larger than ever. 

Our recent legal challenges related to public speak cut to the very core of messages we send to students about being informed and civil citizens.  We must model and lead the very best learning for them and a commitment to collaborating through conflict while we do it. In this realm of continued and positive communication, I have always been a big believer in face-to-face chats about our students and our district.  To continue community dialogue and model open conversation, I invite you to join me for periodic superintendent hours and coffee times which will be published on our district calendar (forthcoming). This appointment, therefore, is the start of what I hope will be an ongoing dialogue in support of our students and the development of our community-at-large.

The School Committee and I look forward to our work with you in the future and I am honored to serve Natick in this new capacity. My 12-year-old daughter helped me find the words to describe my feelings relative to this recent appointment:  “Mom, I bet you feel proud and scared but happy, too because Natick is, like, so much a part of our lives, it’s like another family member!” 

You got it, Ava, Natick is family.


Anna Nolin, Ed.D.

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