ML (Marylisa) Nichols is the 2012 Mom Congress Delegate for Massachusetts. A former PTA president, School Council co-chair and Education Foundation Grants chair, she is cofounder and director of The Parent Connection, a nonprofit parent education group outside of Boston. A passion for family-school dynamics led her to launch The Parent Backpack, a parent-school consultancy for elementary parents where she also blogs. ML is writing a book, The Parent Backpack: How to Navigate Kindergarten Through Grade 5 so your Kids Thrive…and You Survive that will be published by Crown/Random House in late summer, 2013.
What book is currently on your nightstand? Hillary Clinton’s autobiography and Creating Innovators: The Making of Young People Who Will Change The World by Tony Wagner
One thing that is going great in education in your state: Advisory board to MA DESE just approved a parent engagement plan for systemic improvements vs. random acts.
One thing you wish could be improved in education in your state: The culture of parent engagement at the school and state level. It’s one of the clearest indicators to improve student success – we can and need to empower parents—and schools—to build bridges with each other for the sake of our kids.
Secret indulgence: Yoga then chocolate.
Favorite quote: “Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Biggest wish for your kids: That they have curiosity about the world, an underlying desire to help others and a lifetime desire to learn.
Most rewarding/challenging stage of parenthood thus far (and why): Watching your kids give to others has been the most rewarding; most challenging – letting them be who they are.
Favorite family tradition: Going to pick up our Fresh Air Fund child at the bus each summer with ring pops; Christmas morning.
Favorite family activities: Vacationing at grandpas beach house in Nantucket and being without electricity.
Favorite weeknight family dinner: Steak on the grill, red potatoes and salad while discussing what’s happening in school.