Town Council
Karen McDaid
  • School Committee Member since January, 2019.

  • Portsmouth Resident since 1992.

  • Public School Teacher since 2002 (retiring 10/31/2020); 17 years in MA, 1 in RI

  • Strategic Marketing Consultant, 1988 - 1999

  • Education: B.S. Syracuse University; M.B.A. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; M.S.Ed, Bank Street College

  • Spouse: John; Son: Jack (PHS ’18)


Why I’m Running

It has been my honor to serve Portsmouth as a School Committee member for the past two years. During that time I have served on the Policy Committee, the Capital Committee, and the Instructions and Supports Working Team (for reopening the schools).  I would like very much to continuing that work.

I believe I bring a unique perspective to the School Committee, as someone who lives and breathes the day-to-day of education and has dealt with Massachusetts standards and testing for the past 18 years. I have always thought that Portsmouth has a great school system, and I want to contribute to making that system even better.


Important Issues

Academic rigor has always been my first priority. Because of my experience in Massachusetts, I understand what the standards and tests require and how to approach them successfully. I also understand that standardized tests are not a true reflection of the quality of the school or the students, and that we must support the whole child, and the whole student population.

On the Capital Committee, we are rethinking a new five-year capital improvement plan, as we strive to balance the need to address necessary maintenance, and our meticulously developed “Phase II,” with the financial and academic pressures COVID-19 presents.  

Finally, the health and safety of our students and staff remains paramount. Two years ago, our primary concern was protecting our schools from outside intruders. Now, we’re trying to keep our school community safe from COVID-19. The Portsmouth School District did an exemplary job of adapting to online instruction in the spring. Figuring out how to maximize learning during these trying, ever-changing times, will continue to require the best efforts of everyone in our community.

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