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Nikolas H. Emack


#1 FOR CAMBRIDGE SCHOOL COMMITTEE

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Nikolas H. Emack


#1 FOR CAMBRIDGE SCHOOL COMMITTEE

Read my blog here!

Facebook

Twitter

Sign up for my email mailing list.

Please donate to my campaign for more a collaborative and creative Cambridge.

My story

My name is Nikolas Emack and I am a Cambridge resident who is dedicated to making education better for everyone. That is why I am running for the Cambridge School Committee.

Born and raised in Cambridge, I went to Cambridgeport School for K-8 and then Cambridge Rindge and Latin School for high school. For the past five years, I have worked in a variety of educational settings, including diverse types of classrooms. I have taught in almost every school in Cambridge, at every grade level.  I also developed curriculum and workshops for after school teachers, and worked closely with educators and families to improve our community. Through these experiences, I learned that Cambridge has a devoted community that is committed to building an impactful school district. However, we can still build on this great work.

 Every child deserves an education that takes into account his or her unique learning needs. In Cambridge, we are lucky to have the resources to do this, but we need to coordinate those resources more efficiently. If elected, I will continue the same approach I’ve brought with me to teaching, working with the community, and policy work: bringing everyone to the table to find the best solution for our students’ development.

That’s why I am asking for your #1 vote, so I can take that passion into the Cambridge School Committee to make sure all students have a unique learning experience.

 

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My Platform


Cambridge is an inclusive and engaged school community, and I want to continue to build on that culture and add to that work. Below are some of my thoughts on how I would do this if elected.

My Platform


Cambridge is an inclusive and engaged school community, and I want to continue to build on that culture and add to that work. Below are some of my thoughts on how I would do this if elected.

Engaging and Empowering our Community

One of the greatest resources we have in Cambridge is our teachers and our students. However, it’s not always clear for students, teachers, and families on how they can utilize the School Committee to empower their needs. I believe the School Committee should be using their subcommittees to engage and empower members of our school community. In the past three years, subcommittees have met on average of 4.5 times a year. I think the school committee needs to work together to double or triple that number. This way, we will be able to innovate how we interact with the community and invite more people to drive the discussion.

 

School and City Collaboration

Cambridge is fortunate enough to find itself surrounded by numerous institutions that value learning. Between our established universities, our thriving tech sector, and our valuable artistic community, Cambridge has resources that other districts do not. Unfortunately, access to these resources is not equitable. Too many students go without taking an internship, being in after-school classes, or being exposed to college level curriculum. As a School Committee member, I would work on strengthening our relationships with these institutions and developing innovative solutions to make these connections easier to access.

 

Assessing our assessments

Testing is hands down one of the most critical issues affecting our schools. As a teacher, I completely understand the importance of assessing a student's growth, but at the same time when is it too much? Between state and district assessments, younger students are being tested more frequently than ever before, resulting in more stress on students, teachers, and their families.

We need to have more open discussions about assessments and their place in our schools. Conversations like this can help us understand what’s working, what needs to be revisited, and what we aren’t doing. Repurposing assessments means less stress on families and teachers alike. I will make sure that we are connecting with and communicating with all those involved in assessments, making sure we are putting students first.

 

Pro-Active Listening

 Conversations are the best way to get to the root of a problem. Speaking with someone and understanding their needs and concerns can help lead to a better understanding of how to create policy that’s best for everyone involved.

 This means going out to the people where they live, to speak with them about the issues at hand, and not just during campaign season. That’s why I pledge to hold reverse office hours, where I (and hopefully other School Committee members) will go out to community centers, schools, and places where people live, to engage in educational conversations and diagnose problems at the grassroots.

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ENDORSEMENTS


ENDORSEMENTS


"Niko is a wonderful teacher and a fine human being. My son enjoyed his after school a lot. Niko made him so comfortable that they became good friends and my son used to share everything related to and beyond class such as ideas on science and technology. He even gave freedom to my son to design a class on scratch and coding for his school mates and encouraged him to take the class. He is a true teacher who could easily understand the student’s potential and facilitate an open ground for harnessing the student’s ability. Since he was living close to house, he used to walk down to our home to drop off my son back from the after school. It was so easy to trust him as a human being. We wish him good luck for his bright future. He will be an asset to any institution/organization."

- SEEMA SINGH, FORMER CAMBRIDGEPORT PARENT

 

"I have had the privilege of working closely with Niko on the Better Practice Subcommittee of the City of Cambridge STEAM Working Group led by Vice Mayor Benzan and Councillor Mazen. In this effort, he has done an extraordinary job focusing on the needs of children. He brings to this work the skills of a passionate educator who understands the intimate issues of equity, access, and opportunity within a 21st century context. His passion for the well-being of all children was every present in our work, as I am sure it will be the same if he becomes a School Committee member."

- Sue Cusack, Assistant professor at Lesley UNIVERSITY & Co-Leader Kennedy Longfellow/Lesley University Partnership

 

"Niko is committed to improving the lives of young people in our city. I've witnessed his energy, patience, thoughtfulness, and dedication firsthand. We need more people like Niko to help move our schools forward."

- Jacey Buel, 17 year Cambridge Resident & Educator

 

"If every city had someone as passionate, thoughtful and capable as Niko is about improving the lives of public school children, the world would be a whole lot better place to live."

- Rose Schutzberg, CRLS Alum

 

"Niko has demonstrated a commitment to community organizing, in particular uniting underserved families with out of school time opportunities as part of his daily work. He is a leader in council policy initiatives, coordinating key stakeholders and parents, while driving valuable community-led research. He's *already* a policy maker in sense - and he's a genial, inclusive, hard working one, at that. There is no doubt in my mind that Niko belongs on the school committee - his hard work, ability to build consensus, and graduate degree in education put him at the top tier of qualified candidates. He's a natural fit and will be an incredible, principled, responsive elected official for Cambridge."

- NADEEM MAZEN, CAMBRIDGE CITY COUNCILLOR

 

"I've met Niko and also urge you to support him. He will be a new fresh progressive voice on the Cambridge School Committee and as a teacher in the trenches his contributions will be from a place of knowledge."

- Ellen Shachter, advocate for affordable housing And mother of two Cambridgeport and CRLS alum.

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