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.


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.

State Leadership

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

Local Leadership

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 Leadership

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.