This week, Andover News is publishing profiles of the candidates running for select board, moderator and school committee in the 2023 Andover Town Election on March 28 to help voters make decisions. You can also view all Andover News election coverage.
Responses are from a questionnaire sent to all candidates in February and, in some cases, have been edited for length and clarity. Today’s profile is from incumbent Moderator Lauren M. Conoscenti, who is running unopposed for a second term on the Andover School Committee.
All Andover News coverage of the town election on March 28 will be available free to non-subscribers as a service to Andover voters. Please consider supporting local news by subscribing to Andover News.
Family: Husband Tom, daughter Madelyn (14), son Jamie (10), dog Ruthie.
Education: BA in Psychology from Princeton University (2000), Ph.D. in Psychology/Clinical Science from Harvard University (2007).
Occupation: Assistant Head of School for Analytic Support and Assessment at Phillips Academy Andover. In this role, I oversee data collection and analysis to support the academy’s strategic initiatives. I also provide leadership for policies regarding the preservation, management, and governance of institutional data.
More about Lauren M. Conoscenti: x
Campaign Website: https://laurenforandover.org/
Qualifications for Office
What prompted you to run for elect office?
I first ran in 2020 because I wanted to support our schools in ways that might leverage my strengths in data analysis and in communication. I believed then — and still believe today — that our schools can be places of connection and pride for the entire community. I also want our schools to be places where all students can feel welcome and can grow. I’d previously served the schools and our community in other capacities, and felt that running for office was a logical next step.
It has been an honor and privilege to serve the schools in my first term. I’m running again to continue the hard, but rewarding, work of ensuring Andover Public Schools is a beacon of community pride, now and for generations to come. In the next several years, I’m looking forward to continued work in advancing a number of high-priority projects, including a new or renovated Andover High School facility, a revamped middle school schedule, and our ongoing recovery from the impact of a life-altering pandemic.
On the Issues
Andover News asked candidates a series of questions on issues facing the board or committee they are running for, as well as general issues the town is likely to face during the candidate’s term.
School Committee Issues
What are the most important issues the School Committee will face in your next term?
Every issue facing the School Committee is important. However, each issue impacts the community in different ways. These are three school-related matters that will be of particular interest to many in the community:
- We know that our current AHS facility does not serve our students well, and there is consensus that significant improvements are needed to truly deliver an excellent and modern education. The Committee will be part of that conversation as options are refined, information becomes available, and as the decision-making process unfolds.
- Our middle school principals have proposed making changes to the middle school schedule to better meet academic and developmental needs of younger adolescents. Such schedule changes may have funding or staffing implications that the Committee would need to address through the budgeting process.
- Although student mental health and wellbeing have been concerns for both the community and the Committee for some time, the pandemic focused an even brighter spotlight on the topics. In recent years, the Committee has made investments in social-emotional learning and in mental health services to support our students. It will be important to continue that work and adapt or adjust as needed.
If the school committee were to vote on a recommendation for a new Andover High School to town meeting today, how would you vote? Why? What new information could or would sway your vote in the opposite direction?
As a sitting member of the School Committee, it is unethical and inappropriate for me to commit to a position without first publicly deliberating with other Committee members in a posted open meeting. Additionally, it is the responsibility of every School Committee member to thoughtfully and thoroughly review and consider all relevant information prior to making a vote. See also: School Committee policy BCA, “School Committee Member Ethics” and Massachusetts Open Meeting Law.
Photo: Sara Hinchey/Laughing Brook Photography
Previous Candidate Profiles
- Monday: Kevin Coffey, Select Board
- Tuesday: Laura Gregory, Select Board
- Wednesday: Keith Saxon, Moderator
- Thursday: Sheila M. Doherty, Moderator
- Friday: Lauren M. Conoscenti, School Committee
Key Dates For The 2023 Town Election
The town election is scheduled for March 28. The last day to register to vote in the 2023 Andover election is March 18, 2023. You can register to vote online or by visiting the Town Clerk’s office.
March 15, 7 pm at Memorial Hall Library: Andover/North Andover League of Women Voters’ Candidates Forum
March 18: Deadline to register to vote in the March 28 election.
March 21: Deadline to submit a vote by mail application.
March 28: Election Day. Polls open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. (completed mail-in ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on election day).