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.”