“There’s far more to leadership than voting the right way. It’s about how you get to a solution, who you bring along with you, and how you build consensus. That’s true leadership. I’m a shoe-leather activist. I’ve worked on every ballot initiative on education or revenue over the last ten years to support working families and ensure equitable access to quality public school education. I personally collected more than 500 signatures to put the minimum wage and guaranteed sick leave initiative on the ballot in 2014. I’ll bring that activist spirit to the Statehouse to address solutions that support working families and ensure access to opportunity for all in Massachusetts.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT MARY ANN STEWART
“As School Committee Chair, Mary Ann oversaw a $100 million budget, and guided Lexington through the recession by focusing on child-centered, community-conscious budgets, without cutting any programs or laying off any staff.”
Sandro Alessandrini, Chair, Lexington School Committee
“For 20 years, I have watched Mary Ann strengthen and focus her values, her natural organizing talent, and her capacity for honest hard work into a juggernaut for advancing social, economic and racial justice.”
Judy Meredith, Meredith & Associates and Public Policy Institute
“Mary Ann is a principled thinker and a practical doer—the best combination for any public servant.”
Ruth Kaplan, Former Member, Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education
“As Massachusetts PTA President, Mary Ann gave careful consideration of viewpoints from all sides, while keeping the needs of our children and families as her priority always.”
Stephanie Gray, Immediate Past President, Massachusetts PTA
“Mary Ann Stewart has a long track record of advocacy for public schools. There is no one in this election I trust more to work towards safe, strong and equitable schools, or to bring about needed financial reforms to ensure our students futures.”
Lizbeth DeSelm, Melrose School Committee
“For many years, Mary Ann has been our neighbor, a friend, and a passionate advocate for all Lexington residents. She has stood up in support of students and truly cares about people, regardless of background. She is someone who listens, concerns herself with understanding others’ needs, and does her very best to make certain the community meets those needs. ”
Tanya Gisolfi, Lexington
“She has a determined attitude, and is known throughout the community as social agent and advocate who will get things done. Whether it’s battles over tax reform, revenue for education and transportation, or fighting for and on behalf of quality public schools, job security, and minimum wages – Mary Ann is on the front line.”
Kimberly Hula, Arlington
“Mary Ann is an experienced progressive activist (and past Lexington School Committee Chair)… There are so many issues to choose from, but I really appreciate her strong support for the Fair Share State Constitutional Amendment, and her advocacy for a strong, state-level climate policy (already required by law but not being implemented) in the absence of responsible federal action.”
Bill Humphrey, former Governor’s Council candidate
“Mary Ann has the experience in elected office & track record of effective leadership. She’s seems to really understand the complex issues facing our communities and puts in the hard work to get to know the people she hopes to represent. She’s a hard working, smart and progressive leader who will represent our district well.”
Deb Zucker, Lexington
“Regardless of the concern, Mary Ann has the ability to engage with, and solicit, comments from constituents, and she understands very well what is necessary to ensure that we all have a voice in our government. She not only knows how to listen, but also how to synthesize and incorporate what she hears and to help translate that into policy.”
Judy Leader, former member, Lexington School Committee
“Mary Ann’s ability to leverage her networks to connect people and organizations to our mission has been an invaluable resource for introducing and passing bills in Massachusetts and in states across the country. Her long-term commitment and creative ideas for this national education policy change initiative have been key to our success.”
Erin McNeill, President, Media Literacy Now
“First off, I am a teacher in Lexington. I’m also a voter in the 4th Middlesex. I’ve known of Mary Ann Stewart for a number of years. Whether it’s as a member of the Lexington School Committee or member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, I’ve found that Mary Ann has supported positions that matter in regard to what most teachers believe. Mary Ann Stewart is the right person at the right time. She has my vote.”
Ed Dube, Teacher, Burlington
“Mary Ann has a unique ability to understand how policies affect people’s lives and she is committed to continue her support of children, economic equality, and push for results-driven initiatives of the opioid crisis and overdue infrastructure needs in Massachusetts.”
Paula Antonevich, Lexington
“Galvanized in this year of Trump, Mary Ann Stewart will be a voice of fairness and reason. Mary Ann will fight to protect our rights. She has been a strong advocate for children and families as a member of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. She has demonstrated her dedication to public service for over ten years as an elected Town Meeting member and School Committee member for the Town of Lexington.”
Mary Olberding, Register of Deeds, Hampshire District
“Mary Ann’s commitment to community and the citizens of Massachusetts is immeasurable. She is thorough and well-educated and will represent the citizens of the Commonwealth in an honest and fair manner. “
Kimberly Savery Hunt, former president, Massachusetts PTA; Plymouth School Committee member
Get To Know Mary Ann
Mary Ann Stewart is a dedicated, powerful community leader and advocate, who has worked persistently on the local, state and national levels, speaking up on the issues that are most important to our families: the economy, tax reform, and education. Mary Ann has provided Public Testimony and Letters on these issues (Read More…).
Mary Ann is the governor-appointed Parent Representative on the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, where, as one of 10 original petition signers for the Fair Share Amendment (now headed to final legislative action), she pushed for adequate funding to public schools and transportation, and fought to protect core public schools from charter schools that local communities opposed.
As past President of the Massachusetts PTA, the oldest and largest volunteer advocacy group for children and youth, Mary Ann advocated for a hold on the state’s testing program to analyze effects on learning; and lobbied in Washington D.C. for increased IDEA funding for students with special needs.
During her tenure as twice-elected member and Chair of the Lexington School Committee, Mary Ann oversaw a budget of over $100 million; led the Lexington Public Schools as they coped with—and recovered from—the worst financial crisis many of us have seen by fighting for child-centered, community-conscious budgets.
Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, since 2014
- Governor-appointed to five-year term. Responsibilities include policy-making and regulatory oversight of the Commonwealth’s K-12 public schools.
- Original petition signer of the Fair Share Amendment.
- Budget subcommittee member, setting the Board’s priorities for social-emotional learning (SEL), student health and mental health, Safe and Supportive Schools, Civics Education, METCO.
- Elected by Board colleagues to represent Massachusetts on the board of the National Association of State Boards of Education.
Massachusetts PTA, since 2005
- State President, 2010 – 2012
- Member-at-Large, since 2014
- Advocacy and Legislative committee member, 2006 – 2014 (Chair, 2011 – 2014)
- Region 3 Communications Chair 2005-2008
Massachusetts Association of School Committees, 2009 – 2014
- Featured Presenter on family engagement, 2009 – 2011, 2014
- Featured Panelist on social media, 2016
- Legislative Committee, 2012 – 2014
- Resolutions Committee, 2012 – 2014
Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts, since 2007
- Leadership Team
- Education Reform Working Group
- Revenue Options Working Group
- Grassroots advocacy: Question 2 (opposed) and other ballot initiatives
MassPartners for Public Schools, since 2006
Coalition of state education associations and Massachusetts PTA
- Chair, 2011 – 2014
- Member, 2006 – 2017
Governor Patrick’s Whole Child Subcommittee appointee, 2006 – 2007
Lexington School Committee Chair and Member, 2009 – 2014
Lexington Democratic Town Committee, since 2017
Elected Representative to Lexington Town Meeting, since 2006
- Selectmen’s ad hoc Budget Schedule Committee, 2007
- Precinct Chair, 2013 – 2014
- Precinct Vice Chair, 2011 – 2013
League of Women Voters of Lexington, since 2006
- Communications Chair and Board Member, 2008 – 2010
Harrington School Site Council, Elected Member, 2006 – 2008
Harrington School PTA Co-President, 2005 – 2008
National Association of State Boards of Education, since 2016
- Elected Representative, Northeast Area Director, 2016 – 2018
- Legislative Conference, promoting education agenda with Mass. Congressional Delegation in Washington D.C.
- Editorial Advisory Board for The State Education Standard
Media Literacy Now, National Education Policy Initiative, since 2011
- Advisory Board, 2011 – 2013
- Steering Committee, 2013 – 2015
- Board of Directors, since 2015
National PTA, 2006 – 2014
- State Advisory Council, 2008-2010
- Legislative Conference, promoting education agenda with members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation in Wash. D.C. every year from 2006 to 2014
More About Mary Ann
Mary Ann is a graduate of the state’s public higher education system, having received a degree from UMass, Lowell, in Music Education. She performed in elite choruses in Boston and around the country, and as a studio vocalist and recitalist, for twenty-five years. As founder and principal artist of Red Onion Design murals and decorative painting, she was a small business owner.
Mary Ann has lived in Lexington since 1994 with her husband, Duncan, who grew up there. The couple’s three children attended the public schools. She was director of youth education and programs for a small church in Newton for ten years, and is now an adjunct instructor at Middlesex Community College.