Meet Your School Committee
For more than two centuries, Canton has had a rich legacy of investment in education. That focus continues today with leaders whose background often span strategic planning, finance, law, communications, and other fields who have stepped up to serve the District as champions of educational excellence.
Quite often prior to being elected, School Committee members have served as volunteers in other capacities within the District, often gaining valuable insight and experience on School Councils, as CAPT leaders and or on other education-related or municipal government committees.
While there is no set allotment of time required, members often dedicate five -to- twenty five hours each week working on issues that help support constituents in efforts to continuously improve education in Canton. If you are interested in learning more or providing input, reach out to any member or the Committee as a whole at firstname.lastname@example.org. All correspondence using this address is public record.
School Committee Biographies
Kristian Merenda has led a wide range of world-class corporations and institutions in their efforts to grow core performance competencies in functions including management, marketing, public affairs, and sustainability. She is concurrently the managing principal of Change Theory Group, LLC; a partner at The Purpose Collaborative; and a member of the marketing and management faculties at Boston University Questrom School of Business and at Harvard.
Her book Breakthrough Nonprofit Branding, co-authored with Carol Cone, and Anne Erhard highlights some of this work including her most well-known accomplishment Go Red for Women, which has been recognized as the best social impact campaign of the last two decades. Other results of her efforts have been featured in President Clinton’s Giving, Philip Kotler’s Social Marketing, and four case studies published by Harvard Business School and the United Nations, among others. She has been a featured speaker and executive education facilitator for organizations including Duke and MIT.
She is a proud parent of two sons in the Canton School System and volunteers in a variety of capacities supporting academics, athletics, and community-building projects in Canton. She currently serves as Clerk of the Master Planning Implementation Committee and on the School District’s Policy Committee. She recently was a member of the Building and Renovations Committee supporting the construction of the Modular Classrooms, the Metropolis Skating Rink, and the Town Pool. Stemming from her role on the Luce CAPT and then School Council, she led the charge to help secure CCPA approval to install a pair of embankment slides at the Luce School in fulfillment of the school’s 10+ year vision. For more information on Merenda’s background, visit https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristiandarigan/.
Nichola Gallagher has spent the last 15 years working in the finance industry, with 12 of those at State Street Corporation in Boston. Her diversified background includes work in Accounting, Business Analytics, Project Management, Program Management (PMO) and Process Development. Most recently she has shifted responsibilities to also include Data Stewardship for the Financial Planning and Analysis division of the bank. She holds a BA from Colby College in Waterville, Maine. Nichola moved to Canton with her family in 2012. She participates in Girl Scouts and coaching girls’ soccer both for in-town, and a travel league. In 2014 she was appointed to serve on the Canton Town Finance Committee. Nichola is the mother of two children in the Canton school system, and is excited for this new chapter serving on the School Committee.
Maureen Moran Elected to the School Committee in 2019, Maureen Moran is currently serving as Secretary, as well as a member of the Finance Subcommittee, the Canton Master Planning Implementation Committee, and the Norfolk County Sheriff’s Task Force on Juvenile Substance Abuse and Mental Health.
Maureen has volunteered in the Canton public schools since her daughter entered the Rodman Early Education program, where she joined with other parents to organize volunteers to support classroom activities. During her daughter’s six years at the Luce, Maureen was a member of the Luce CAPT, spending two years as its secretary. She launched, organized and chaired the school’s yearly “Breakfast with Someone Special” and “Celebrate Spring with Someone Special” events. She also chaired the CAPT’s Teacher Appreciation Committee, served as a room parent, established the Luce Little Free Library, coached the school’s award-winning CAPE spelling bee teams in 2018 and 2019, and served as a co-coordinator of the grade 5 promotion activities in 2018-2019.
Beginning in 2015, Maureen began attending School Committee meetings, writing up notes for email distribution and presenting updates at Luce CAPT meetings. Her commitment to information sharing supports her belief that a well-informed community is a strong community.
A Canton High graduate, Maureen and her husband moved to Canton in 2005. In addition to her district volunteer work, Maureen is a Girl Scout Cadette troop leader, and a long-term volunteer with the Holy Cross Alumni Association, serving as its President in 2012-2013.
Maureen is an experienced communications professional, with a background in corporate communications, health care and journalism. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from Holy Cross and a master’s degree from the Columbia University School of Journalism.
Kendall O'Halloran grew up in Franklin, MA, and attended Franklin Public Schools (K-12), followed by Furman University (Greenville, S.C.) and Providence College. A Dean’s List and Tau Pi Phi Honorary Society member, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management, cum laude, from Providence College.
A resident of the greater Boston area since college graduation, Kendall and her husband Steve moved to Canton in 2007. They welcomed their two children—a daughter and a son--within the next four years. A regular fixture on sports fields/courts, gyms, and dance studios, they proudly embrace so much of the wonderful environment Canton offers—including sports, businesses, community events, schools, and people.
Kendall has coached Canton T-Ball, Little League, and Soccer, and served as President of the JFK CAPT –among many other volunteer roles through the years in Canton. She can often be found donning her green and white and cheering loudly on the sidelines of games.
Kendall has worked in Advertising, Project Management, and Government Relations for over two decades. She has been working for RNS Communications for over 8 years, and is the Massachusetts Regional Advertising Manager and Director of East Region State Relations. Through these roles she has worked with conflict resolution, strategic planning, contract negotiations, sourcing vendors, project management, quality control, and many other leadership tasks with local, regional, national and international companies.
She has been attending the School Committee meetings (in person and virtually) since the second half of 2019, and is honored to now be a School Committee Member.
An optimist and puzzle-solver, she is excited to use her life skills, work experience, and passion for the betterment of children – and the children of Canton, in particular—to usher the Canton Public Schools forward and ahead in a particularly difficult time in history.
Laura Arboleda is a Healthcare Informatics and Innovation professional who has been in the industry since 2007. Laura describes herself as a forever student, continuously searching to learn and explore new ideas.
Her academic background includes a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, master’s degree in Computer Science with a focus in healthcare informatics, and leadership professional certifications from Harvard and Cornell.
Laura has led a variety of initiatives promoting the adoption of technology focused on improving patient care and healthcare delivery in the United States and abroad.
Laura incorporates into her life opportunities to improve access to education, promote equality, expand healthcare access and ending violence against women.
Prior to moving to Canton, Laura served as the chair of the board of health in Easton for 4 years and is excited to serve as part of the school committee in Canton.
Laura is the proud mom of two children in the Canton School System, she is an animal lover, an outdoor enthusiast and an amateur gardener.
Please note that all communication made electronically in a School Committee member's capacity as a public official can be considered public even when they are using personal email accounts or blogs. Therefore, School Committee members are not advised to and most often will not use social media or personal email accounts to communicate.
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