Last fall, after Jim Turner retired from the Board of Education for Lowell Area Schools, a call was sent out for applicants to fill the vacant seat. Three people responded, and board members choose Jessica Curtis for the spot.
Now a few months into her term, Curtis says she is impressed by the leadership skills and transparency of the board, and she looks forward to doing her part to promote excellence at LAS.
Lowell Graduate with an Interest in Education
Current board members noted several reasons for selecting Curtis for the open spot, including the fact that she is a graduate of the school district. Curtis is a member of the Lowell Class of ’99 which, incidentally, is also the year that current board secretary Pat Nugent joined the Board of Education.
“I always wanted to be a teacher and studied early education at CMU but upon completing my degree, I was offered a job in sales,” Curtis says. With jobs at schools few and far between at the time of her college graduation, she pursued a different career path but never forgot her love of education.
Curtis and her husband Mike, who is also a Lowell graduate, have three children who attend Lowell High School and Murray Lake Elementary School. Over the years, her husband has coached Lowell Football, and Curtis joined the board of the Lowell Education Foundation. When she learned of the opening on the Board of Education, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for her to become more involved in the district.
Optimism for the Future
Curtis didn’t come to the board with any agenda or specific priorities in mind. Instead, she has focused on learning as much as she can about the district and how it operates.
“My impressions of being on the school board so far has been that all members seem to be in sync and exhibit true leadership,” she says. She has found the board to be both open and transparent, and Curtis is also impressed with new superintendent Nate Fowler’s vision for what is best for students.
Looking forward, she wants to build upon the strengths of Lowell’s talented leaders and passionate teachers while also addressing issues related to the pandemic. The biggest challenges facing the district, according to Curtis, include the unknowns related to student mental health and well-being that may be linked to last year’s limited in-person instruction.
“Lowell Schools has shown great resilience and remained optimistic during the past year when things looked pretty iffy,” Curtis says. Heading into 2021, she is confident the district, students and staff will rise to whatever challenges the future may hold.