Kristen McLaughlin


Hi!  My name is Kristen McLaughlin and I am a mom on a mission.  I decided to run for school committee as a result of seeing the detrimental impact Covid had on our children and our school district.  My main focus points are attaining transparency and accountability with curriculum, standing up for parent rights, and achieving student-centered budgeting.

I have twins in third grade at Manchester Memorial Elementary School.  Our family moved to Manchester from Danvers in 2018 specifically for the excellent school system, with the hope of keeping them in the MERSD through high school.  As part of my due diligence process, I met with many principals in neighboring school districts before choosing to relocate to Manchester.  Quality public school education and its influence on a community go hand in hand.  Small class sizes, the opportunity to learn a foreign language, a vibrant art/music/performing arts program, and advanced math placement options (among other attributes) are not only critical in inspiring intellectual and creative growth, they also help to create a flourishing community.  While I consider myself fortunate to live in an area with so many beautiful physical attributes, a strong and thriving school district provides the foundation for what makes the communities of Manchester and Essex wonderful and desirable places to live.

Since moving here, I have had the privilege of serving on the Manchester Memorial School Council, the Manchester Memorial PTO Enrichment Committee, and I have also served on the Board of the Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts for approximately 10 years.  These leadership experiences have provided me with wide-ranging experience advocating for children, and I look forward to continuing to serve as a public advocate for children and their families as a member of the School Committee. 

A little background on me: I have been a practicing attorney since 2007, licensed in MA, FL, and NH.  As a trial attorney, the majority of my time is spent in a courtroom litigating on behalf of my clients.  My work experience has enabled me to speak in wide-ranging public forums, in a manner that must be calm, concise and articulate.  This has also allowed me to work with a diverse group of people from different backgrounds.  I am aggressive, yet fair and understanding, and I am able to stand up for my beliefs.  These character traits are critical to serve as a member of the Manchester Essex School Committee.  These professional skills are founded on listening, learning, and exhausting all ideas before making a difficult decision.  I have an insatiable thirst for knowledge, so after hearing my constituents’ opinions and issues, I will be endlessly researching and studying the topic(s) that arise for the Committee's attention before forming my own opinion, and work to brainstorm a plethora of new ideas and options to satisfy a majority in our town.

Lastly, I believe I have a moral obligation to stand up for parents and protect the children in our school district.  Over the last few years, a phenomenal thing has happened in our community:  parents have come together and shown a desire to be involved in the public-school education of their children.  School Committee meetings have seen higher attendance numbers than ever, parents have spoken during public comment and they have educated themselves on the role and responsibilities of the school committee.  Parents continue to question things that don’t make sense, email the district representatives, and advocate for parental rights to be honored and respected.  I believe parents are underrepresented in our schools and deserve a say in curriculum and materials.  There should be full disclosure of what is being taught.  How our children are being educated is vital for parent trust.  Complete transparency on any social agendas being promoted in our schools is in order:  this includes books in the library and curriculum in the classroom, both of which should have standards that meet our community’s expectations.  As a school committee member, I would use a forthright approach to establish accountability and transparency with the curriculum.

I will bring a voice to the school committee that promotes community and is representative of the students and parents in our district.

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