Kathleen Kreatz

Background

What motivates you to run for school committee?

I have a passion for serving the public and making a difference in the community. It has been a truly special experience serving the Medford Community in improving our education system, and with your support and your ideas, we can both help bring about change in our community.

What experiences or skills have prepared you to serve on the school committee?

My credentials are very well rounded as I have now almost completed two terms on the Medford School Committee. I have been employed since the age of 15 and have over 35 years of working experience in many facets of organizations. I have also been an entrepreneur having started my own business as a licensed family day-care provider to provide quality affordable childcare and spend more time with my son. In 2006, I accepted a position with the Massachusetts Teachers Retirement This year I celebrated my 13th anniversary at the Massachusetts Teachers Retirement System (MTRS).
While in my second term on the School Committee, we faced several challenges. I was elected by my peers to serve as Secretary of the Medford School Committee in 2018. In 2019, I was elected by my peers to serve as Vice-Chairperson of the Medford School Committee. I am the Chairperson of the Engineering Advisory Committee at MVTHS. Also, I am the Chairperson of the Rules Sub Committee.
In addition to serving on the Rules Subcommittee and as the Vice-Chair of the School Committee, I serve as a member of the Building and Grounds Subcommittee, working to ensure the safety of all our schools. Also, I serve as a member of the Personnel Subcommittee, in which we selected qualified administrators to help lead our schools. Lastly, I was appointed by the Mayor as a member of the Medford Community Fund Committee for the City of Medford.


Vision

In the past two years, what School Committee actions did you support or oppose, and why?

Some tasks I was personally involved in on my second term are: After the merger of MHS & MVTHS I advocated for the students to make sure students from both programs were represented on stage at graduation.
In the summer of 2018, I worked together with parents and administrators to highlight coverage for the vocational program by getting additional pictures added to the yearbook. Also, I met with parents at each school to address their concerns with the property and grounds. In collaboration with the administration the issues were addressed.
Last fall I read a book to the kindergarteners at each elementary school. Also, I spoke to one of the local Cub Scouts troops about my role to assist the Scouts with a badge.
I ran with the Roberts Elementary girls, 5k ‘Girls on the Run’ last winter and spring.
This spring I joined MHS students and their teacher on a field trip, to the State House for ’Day on the Hill’.
At the Medford Day Community Event, I hosted a flower seed planting table. Over 100 community members visited my table to plant flower seeds and decorate a pot to take home.
During both terms, I visited all of the Medford Public Schools. Also, I attended numerous citywide events.

What are the greatest strengths and challenges of our current school system?

The Medford Public Schools has many great qualities;
We have identified a 5-year plan for capital improvements.
We submitted another Statement of Interest to the MSBA for the Medford HS.
All kindergarten classrooms will have the benefit of full-time kindergarten aides.
Class sizes remain stable which promotes positive student/teacher ratios.
New FOSS Science Curriculum in all elementary schools grades K-5
Adopted one math program titled Illustrative Math (IM) 6-8 for middle school for the upcoming school year. The curriculum is available in both print and digitally online. Also meets expectations in all Ed Report Gateways.
Dyslexia screening in Kindergarten to second grade for early detection and intervention.
Center for Citizenship and Social Responsibility (CCSR) in all of our schools
We supported the Superintendents plan for a Full Middle School Lottery to balance our schools with equality and diversity
Approved a marijuana abstinence study at Medford High School and Middle School.
Adopted Provision 2 Free Breakfast Pilot Program for the first quarter of the school year.
Medford Vocational Technical HS: Cosmetology complete renovation to better serve our clientele in Medford, program updates in Automotive Technology, and renovated new location for Mustang Mall.
New curbing at AMS, McGlynn, and MHS
As a district, we can improve on MCAS scores and we are taking measures to bring up the scores by having students take practice tests and having math coaches.
I would like to with the administration on adjusting the schedule at MHS/MVTHS so additional students can take advantage of the Career Technical Education Programs. Also, adjust the schedule so the vocational student’s schedule can fit elective courses. I would like to work with the administration to develop a master renovation plan for the Medford High School Complex if we don’t receive the MSBA Grant.
At the Middle School Level, I think we can educate the students about the dangers of vaping and drug prevention.

What initiatives would you prioritize in our school system?

When re-elected, there are many issues I would like to address. I will work with the administration of MHS/MVTHS to adjust the vocational students schedule to fit elective courses. I plan to work with the administration to develop a master renovation plan for the Medford High School Complex.
At the Middle School Level, my purpose is to engage with the students on the new math program, Illustrative Math. At the Elementary School Level, I want to participate hands-on with the students learning from the new FOSS Science Curriculum.


Issues

Medford has a broad diversity of students. How would you address the unique needs of various student populations? Be specific.

This school year the school committee supported the Superintendents plan for a Full Middle School Lottery to balance our schools with equality and diversity

Do you have any priorities for the school budget? What are they, and why?

I would like to work with the administration on adjusting the schedule at MHS/MVTHS so additional students can take advantage of the Career Technical Education Programs. Also, adjust the schedule so the vocational student’s schedule can fit elective courses.
Also, work with the administration to develop a master renovation plan for the Medford High School Complex if we don’t receive the MSBA Grant.

What role should charter schools have in our public school system?

I think there needs to equity in funding with charter schools and public schools so we can meet the needs of our students. I would urge parents, neighbors, and friends to come to the Medford Public Schools for a visit to see all the great things we have to offer.

What is your stance on the PROMISE Act?

I will be steadfast and working with our elected officials regarding the Promise Act ensuring that Medford benefits getting as much funding as possible to support our programs such as; special education, ELL and other programs.

How can we increase parental and community engagement in school committee meetings?

We do a great job getting the word out about our meetings; posting on the school website, Facebook, with Live stream and taped YouTube broadcasts. I think with the busy family lifestyles it can be difficult for community members to get out to the meetings. I think increasing the frequency of the taped meetings would better our community engagement. Also, I think we could market the different methods for viewing the school committee meetings with social media, on the website, and in the paper.


Bonus Question

Everyone grows up holding personal biases. Please share an anecdote about a time that your own biases were confronted, and how you responded.

My husband and I adopted my son Noah from South Korea. When we first told our family and friends we were planning to adopt my son from Korea we received criticism. Some of the hurtful things we heard were; what if the baby is sick, the baby won’t look like you, will you tell your child he/she is adopted and many more. I was taken back and heartbroken. I didn’t worry about any of the hurtful things said. Instead, we focused on making the best life for this new baby coming into our lives and giving him all the love and care we could. Today our son is nineteen years old and we could not be any prouder of what a wonderful young man he is.