Three candidates declare to represent Warren on school committee

By Ethan Hartley
Posted 7/4/24

Two of the three candidates will earn a spot on the committee. All three have impressive experience in an educational field, from professional development, to educational law, and higher educational administration.

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Three candidates declare to represent Warren on school committee


Three candidates have declared to run for two open seats to represent Warren on the Bristol Warren Regional School Committee, each bringing an impressive background of professional accolades.

Nichola “Nicky” Piper, current school committee chairperson, decided to run for re-election after successfully retaining her seat originally won in 2020. Tara Thibaudeau, who also won a seat in 2020 and currently serves as the board’s secretary, decided not to run for re-election.

Joining Piper in the race are Gena Glickman and Christine “Chrissy” Barlow. The top two vote getters will win a four-year term. The Times-Gazette interviewed each to get their perspective on why they decided to run in November. They are presented in the order they were interviewed.

Nicky Piper
Piper was chosen to become the chair of the school committee after the election in 2022, and was originally elected to the board in 2020. At the time, she ran on a platform of wanting to see less conflict between the committee and the school administration. Since 2022, Piper said that she has been pleased to see a much more cohesive and stable relationship form between the members of the committee and the district administration.

“I think that there have been huge improvements in how this committee operates and what we’ve been able to achieve in the past two years, but I don’t think that we’re done,” she said.

With three students in the district at the time she was elected, Piper’s oldest daughter has since graduated and moved onto college, but she still has two children attending school in the district. Piper said her primary motivation for running again was seeing the school construction and repair process through to the end.

“With these school construction projects, I feel a huge responsibility to stay on and see those through to completion,” she said.

Piper has worked for over a decade at The National Academy of Advanced Teacher Education (NAATE), a national educational nonprofit dedicated to providing high-quality professional learning experiences for teachers.

Christine Barlow
Growing up in Seekonk, Mass., Chrissy Barlow recalls fondly vacationing with her grandparents, who had a house on the water in Warren. After graduating from Providence College, she moved to D.C. to attend law school, earning her Juris Doctor from American University.

Barlow has amassed over 20 years of professional experience in educational law, beginning as a law clerk, and currently works as Assistant General Counsel for the United Stated Department of Education, where she said she helps oversee federal grant funding for elementary, secondary, adult and career and technical education programs.

Barlow said she moved to Warren in May of 2021 to escape the city in the midst of Covid. She has a rising third and fifth grader attending Hugh Cole Elementary School, which she said was a large part of the motivation for her running for school committee.

“I feel like since we’ve moved here, we’ve had amazing teachers at Hugh Cole, and we just want to find another way to be supportive of the teachers and staff that have been working there,” she said.

Barlow said she has been encouraged to see the stability of the district and school board in the last couple of years, and she believed her professional background would be a valuable addition to the board.

“I just really want to be able to see how we can continue to make good government happen in the Bristol Warren School Committee,” she said.

Gena Glickman
Dr. Gena Glickman brings to her candidacy a career of over 45 years of experience in higher education, beginning as a counselor and ultimately rising to the top tank of president of two community colleges; Manchester Community College in Connecticut, and Massasoit Community College in Massachusetts.

Glickman has a Master’s degrees from Johns Hopkins University in Counseling and Education, and earned her PhD from the University of Maryland in Educational Leadership and Administration & History of Higher Education.

Although she has since retired from her collegiate administrative positions, she continues to serve as the Chair of the Board of Directors for the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), which works to provide quality assurance of higher institutes of learning students and parents, and serves as consultants for national educational policymakers.
Glickman said that her professional background has given her a unique perspective into dealing with a gamut of educational issues.

“I think I have the background and skills in terms of both outreach to community, partnerships with businesses and industry at all levels, and understand what it takes to create successful students and work with faculty and staff,” she said. “Not necessarily directly, but in terms of how unions work and the challenges of administration and all the peripheral things they need to be engaged with.”

Glickman, a New York native, shares a connection with the East Bay through her father, who lived in Bristol for 50 years. She moved to Warren in 2018 to be closer to him shortly before he passed away. Although she doesn’t have kids in the district, she believes she has a lot to offer to the community.

“It’s such a critical part of our ecosystem that you want it to go smoothly,” she said of the school district. “I certainly have an investment in the outcome of the students from our schools.”

2024 by East Bay Media Group

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