I was not lucky enough to be born in Cambridge. I chose it as a place to live since I love the city! I was born in Chicago, along with my parents and my five sisters. I attended Catholic school there until fifth grade, when we moved to Stamford, Connecticut, and my parents chose the public school system. My high school, Stamford High, was very much like CRLS in demographics. Lots of well-off families and lots of families struggling to make it financially and lots in between. Similar breakdown of racial and ethnic backgrounds, except fewer Latino students. I was both a geek and a jock. Most days I kept out of trouble by going to the gym, where I played varsity gymnastics & track. I was also the first girl on the school's cross-country team, most memorable for the first, mandatory team meeting held in the boy's locker room by the coach who resented being coerced by federal legislation to open the team to girls. I benefited from Title IX, and ever since have appreciated the need to break down barriers.
I was the first in my family to ever apply to Harvard, where I went to college and first fell in love with Cambridge, and first volunteered in the schools. After a couple years of work in New York City for a politician (Brooklyn District Attorney Liz Holtzman), I went to graduate school, at the Yale School of Management, where I received great training in business and strategic thinking. After several years in corporate consulting at the large international firm of McKinsey, and after paying off my school loans, I went into the non-profit and socially responsible business sector. I have run two small companies (an environmental firm and a telephone reseller).
Since moving back to Cambridge in 1991, I have been active in the community. My educational involvement includes serving on the Board of Cambridge School Volunteers for 7 years, including 4 as Treasurer. I was President and Treasurer of Children's Village, a childcare center in Cambridge where my children went. I also served as Director of Cambridge United for Education, an independent citywide organization dedicated to promoting excellence in CPS. Since my children entered school I have been involved, like many parents, in my children's schools, first the Peabody and now Amigos. I have also been involved and sought to ensure community and parent input into district wide decisions. I have often testified at School Committee, and have helped push the district as a whole to address declining enrollment, budget transparency, and advocating for greater communication.
For the last 7 years, I have been doing mostly project-based work. I've helped a legal staffing firm start-up, several enterprises that are worker-owned, including a model welfare-to-work home health aide company, worked on economic development in Boston, an environmental mutual fund and many other projects. I was leader of a group that sought to open an International Baccalaureate Charter High School here in Cambridge. That effort did not make the final cut by the state, but it got me very involved in thinking about to better use our tremendous resources as a district.
My background in management, strategic thinking and analytical approach to solve problems is what I believed would be a terrific addition to the Cambridge School Committee. And I have proven during my first two terms that my background has been incredibly useful to the Committee as a whole. I am known for my integrity, analytical skills and courage and have been the most effective School Committee member pushing for excellence and better use of Cambridge's $25,000 per student spending.
I have been a consistent force for positive change and my management background, different from all other candidates, has made a positive difference. My first two terms proved that I can get stuff done. I now have a solid record of accomplishments. I've been working collaboratively on my priority issues of: raising the academic bar; reallocating funds based on results; providing challenge for all students — those who are struggling and those who are advanced; ensuring input into policy decisions (for example: controlled choice, Intensive Studies Program (ISP) admittance, discipline); strengthening strategic plans in special education and technology; and ensuring education includes the arts, critical thinking and global learning. Elections are uncertain. I could lose without your # 1 vote.
Patty with husband David Rabkin, her children Joshua & Alexis (both at CRLS) and exchange student Sasha Adrian, who lived with the family for a year.
Patty Nolan hosted seven local high schools students to hear Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor at the Radcliffe Day Lunch this June. The picture shows the group with Justice O'Connor and Radcliffe Dean Barbara Grosz. Photo by Tony Rinaldo.
Patty Nolan chats with some seniors at the MIT picnic. All Cambridge residents are invested in excellent public schools, whether they have children or grandchildren in the schools or not.
Patty's daughter Alexis,
artist for Patty's purple signs,
sits by another proud artistic creation.
Midnight, May 17, 2004
Cambridge City Hall
Patty Nolan, with husband David Rabkin and a sleepy Joshua (8) and Alexis (6) celebrate a landmark civil rights moment together.
Danehy Park, Cambridge.
Patty Nolan with her 2 children take a break and listen to some environmental stories during the Green Bike Tour, Spring 2005.