School Advisory Council Personal Statements

Lesley Nesbitt
Kate Damon
Karin Maria Hodges, Psy.D.

Lesley Nesbitt

I am very pleased to be able to serve the Thoreau School community by sitting on the School Advisory Committee.  Since attending the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where I met so many inspiring and committed teachers who were clearly influencing young minds, I have worked at a boarding school in western Maine and am now the Director of Enrollment Management at the Carroll School in Lincoln and Waltham, MA.

I am dedicated to the ideal that all children should love and be engaged in the work that is learning.  Schools that strive to educate the whole child launch their students into their next steps as thoughtful scholars and mindful people; as educators, we should pay attention to academic readiness AND to character education and how to be good citizens of the world.  The latest research points to the fact that that most successful adults are not necessarily the students who achieve the best grades and scores but the ones who are resilient and persistent, who are willing to take risks and learn from mistakes.

I hope to bring my knowledge of research and best practices to the SAC in service of the Thoreau School community, and look forward to the good work we can accomplish.

Kate Damon

I am excited about joining the School Advisory Committee at Thoreau.  I have a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education from Wheelock College, and taught in both public and private school settings for 13 years.  I have served on various school and town committees, including the Concord Children’s Center Board of Directors and the Citizens Transportation Committee.  This fall I joined an education technology company that focuses on parent engagement and driving student achievement.  I have two children in the CPS: Emily, Thoreau grade 3 and Ryan, CMS grade 6.

As both an educator and a parent, I recognize the necessity of families and schools partnering to promote positive outcomes for students.  I am a fervent advocate of developmentally appropriate practice, believing wholeheartedly in the importance of meeting each child where they are and helping them to reach challenging and obtainable goals.  I believe that children’s social, emotional, and physical lives are as important as their academic ones.  Schools play an integral role in helping children become caring, responsible, well-informed adults who can successfully manage the complexities of life.  I look forward to working with SAC in support of the Thoreau School community.

Karin Maria Hodges, Psy.D.

Please consider me for the position of Thoreau School Advisory Council (SAC) Member.  I am a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with expertise in child development and K-12 schools. I received my BA in Psychology from UCLA.  The emphasis in my education at UCLA was cognition and child development. I then obtained my Psy.D. from Antioch University, New England. Among other things, my pre- and post-doctoral training included clinical work in various K-5, K-6, K-8, & 6-8 schools. For several years I served on IEP, student support, and multidisciplinary teams; conducted psychological assessments; supervised masters-level school psychologists; advised parents; addressed clinical emergencies; ran various psychotherapy and support groups; and more. Currently, I am Div. 49 Representative on the American Psychological Association’s Coalition for Psychology in Schools and Education. I am also Board Member of the Acton-Boxborough Coalition for Healthy Youth.  I hold an Adjunct Faculty position at Antioch University, New England and have a Private Practice in Concord, MA. My previous education and current professional and volunteer positions make me well qualified to serve on Thoreau SAC. Thank you for considering me for this fantastic volunteer opportunity at Thoreau. I’d be honored to serve on SAC alongside other Thoreau parents and our exceptionally gifted Thoreau staff.