Zitterell, a mother of five, hopes to be ‘a voice for the parents’ on N.S. school board

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – A 15-year town resident with a career in health care is seeking a seat on the North Smithfield School Committee, saying that as a mother of five, she hopes to be a voice for parents in town.

Kristin Zitterell, who works as dentist anesthesiologist, notes that she moved to town after she and her husband completed their education in Ohio.

“We chose North Smithfield because of the stellar reputation of the school system. We moved several times to pursue educational goals, and decided that the best place to raise our family was in North Smithfield,” Zitterell said.

Zitterell notes she has worked in health care for more than 30 years, starting her career as a pharmacist, before working as a dentist, and then ultimately becoming an anesthesiologist.

“My career is providing anesthesia services for patients needing dental work,” she said. 

“As a mother of five children, I have come to understand how different each child in a family can be.  Each child’s needs are unique,” Zitterell said. “All of them deserve to be instructed at their ability level and challenged to their potential.”

“My hope for every one of my children is the same as that of every parent,” she said. “We want them to receive a quality education and become honest, caring, productive, responsible adults.”

“It is imperative that their education focus on the fundamentals of reading, writing, science, and mathematics. We also want our social, cultural and sexual beliefs left out of primary education,” Zitterell said. “Like every family, we have our own beliefs and values that are discussed around the dinner table and nurtured within the home. Those values are our own and those beliefs need not be challenged in the classroom. I also believe in not allowing schools to prematurely expose our children to adult issues.”

Zitterell said she also believes opportunities for non-college bound students should be expanded – and become as robust as those for students preparing for college.

“Real world experiences should be offered,” she said. “Distance learning during the COVID shutdowns removed the veil of what is being taught in the classroom. Many parents in town have grown concerned about the transparency of their children’s education.”

“We should all expect transparency and integrity from our elected officials,” Zitterell said. “Similarly, elected officials should represent the voices of those that elected them. I feel that we have been ignored and let down by several recent school committee decisions to the detriment of our children. I promise to be a voice for the parents and children of our town. I would strive to do my best to represent the values of our community.”

“The bottom line is that I am a mother concerned about the education of my children, and I am doing something about it.”

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Mrs. Zitterell,

    Do you denounce the libeling, slandering, and defaming the character of student’s parents nationally, but especially in our community as domestic terrorists for simple stepping forward to advocate on behalf of their children in opposition of mask and covid mandates, that has and will cause future damage to learning, as well as the hyper sexually charged grooming indoctrination and divisive rhetoric of casting some as “oppressors” and others as “oppressed” based on the color of their skin and not the content of their character in the curriculum? These matters that clearly may not comport with, and may be in direct contradiction to a student’s family, religious values along with their mental/physical well being, and a united community harmony. I thank you for your time, good luck in the election.

  2. David, first off. This is a tiny article. Relax take a breath. You can’t fit the entire spectrum of one’s philosophy into a breif synopsis.

    Kristen is extremely approachable unlike the current school board minus Mr. Lombardi. Instead of throwing out huge loaded questions and woke buss words, I suggest you do your due diligence and reach out.

    Clearly no one is advocating to get rid of history or “white wash” it. A good well rounded curriculum based and math and science. History that celebrates America for all of her greatest and understanding mistakes of the past to have a brighter future.

    Eliminating the sexulation of our youngest children. You would not believe some of the material. Pornographic in nature.

    Lastly, communication with the school board. Parents to be involved and not treated like enemies.

    From my brief encounters with Kristen I believe she embodies all of these beliefs. I will not speak for her but for me this is not to much to ask.

    She has my vote and I hope many more. from like minded people and those opening their eyes for the first time and truly seeing the educational disconnect in this town

  3. David seriously you keep making comments about what are children should be taught in school yet you don’t look the age to have school age children. I pulled my son from NS schools this year because of the current curriculum. I don’t want my child being taught about gender identity, graphic sex ed even anything about racism. That is the parents responsibility not a bias school curriculum. Not everyone has the same beliefs and these topics should be off limits and taught at home. Our children do not belong to RIDE or this town. They’re our children and we have the right to decide what is taught and at what age it should be taught.

  4. “We also want our social, cultural and sexual beliefs left out of primary education,” Zitterell said.”
    THIS STATEMENT IS VERY CONCERNING TO ME!! Here is why! Social and Cultural left out of education? This sounds EXACTLY like the Republican talking points… we need our children and young adults to be educated about social and cultural issues like racism, respect for minority cultures, etc. They need to understand and be taught about ALL aspects of America! BTW, she never mentioned HISTORY OR SOCIAL STUDIES as core subjects? Why? Because she’s afraid that it might upset her narrow concept of education. She should NOT be imposing her narrow vision of education on other parents and students and tax payers of North Smithfield!

  5. North Smithfield would be lucky to have Kristen on its school board. She is hard-working and dedicated, both professionally, and as a mom. She will undoubtedly bring these same qualities, and many more, to your school board.

  6. The School Committee has carefully shielded themselves from communication with parents during a time of increasing concerns over a sex-driven health curriculum throughout the grades levels. In our schools, ontroversial social issues are presented to students with a political bent. We need to get back to refining instruction to strengthen those subjects that we send our students to the schools to learn: the basics! If the three R’s had the proper emphasis, we could regain North Smithfield”s reputation as a leading school district.

    • So, no Social Studies or History curriculum?? Really? And, if you did offer that, how would YOU offer those subjects? Would you eliminate any mention of ‘uncomfortable’ aspects of US history and culture as suggested in some other states? BTW, what is a ‘political bent’ anyways?? Would you ignore mention of slavery, women’s rights, racism, Black boycotts of the civil rights era, and many other issues? How about Native American peoples (aka First Nations) treatment by European settlers? Martin Luther King? Yes, there are aspects of US a history that require reflection and analysis that are not always positive and wonderful. Would you ignore all of this?

  7. Interesting comments but again zero experience in running a business. Such as budgeting, finance, legal, contract negotiations, Human Resources, curriculum, and purchasing/RFPs. We need to elect people with practical experience instead of a nice person with some abstract ideas. The candidates experience makes it difficult for her to make informed decisions when you need the background necessary to analyze the information.

    • Tom, what you are suggesting for a candidate is not running, and her ideas are not abstract they are what most parents are looking for. It might be prudent to choose from what we have in front of us or stick with the same characters and keep things status quo. I suggest a change.

    • Actually, she does own a business that she bought into 2 weeks prior to the shutdowns brought on by COVID. That business is still thriving and sponsoring sports teams in town. She went to school through the 24th grade and had her professional school loans paid off before she turned 40. I think she knows a thing or two about how to work on a budget.
      None of those things are what brought her to her decision to run for school committee, however. So, now you know, Tom.

  8. Three great comments to her platform, “We also want our social, cultural and sexual beliefs left out of primary education’, “opportunities for non-college bound students”, and most importantly’ “We should all expect transparency and integrity from our elected officials,”. She deserves consideration on just these comments alone.

    • As I have challenged others elsewhere here in comments, no Social Studies or History curriculum? And, if you did offer that, what would it be? A white-washed version of history? Only discuss cultural and social issues around dinner table? Regarding sexuality education…. not sure how that is taught to elementary students in Rhode Island… if you did not offer it in Middle School and High School it would be negligence in educating the whole student.

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