, Salem, MA

September 6, 2013

Casiglia: A mom on a mission


---- — This is part of a series of profiles of School Committee candidates in Salem. The Sept. 17 preliminary election will whittle eight candidates down to six.

SALEM — It’s hard to find a parent more involved in the public schools than Katie Casiglia, the mother of three young children and a School Committee candidate.

When the heat went out at Bentley School, where her son was a preschooler, Casiglia contacted the mayor’s and superintendent’s offices to try to fix the problem.

When the school district was designated Level 4, she read the state report and started attending School Committee meetings.

“I just wanted to find out what their responsibility was and what was going on at School Committee meetings,” said Casiglia, a former educator at the Forsyth School for Dental Hygienists in Boston.

Convinced more parents should be informed, Casiglia hosted a meeting at her house to discuss the state report.

“We were all very optimistic,” she said. “Here was an opportunity for our schools not only to improve but ... to become a leader.”

The Saltonstall parent has met with Superintendent Stephen Russell and other officials, and she even wrote and submitted her own version of the student assignment policy.

Casigilia said she doesn’t have all the answers but, as a school board member, would find out what is working and not working in classrooms and look for proven practices outside of Salem. And she would continue to communicate with parents, teachers and staff.

“You’re not going to make progress, if you don’t say what’s on your mind,” she said.

Tom Dalton can be reached at


Address: 398 Essex St.

Age: 37

Family: Married, three children (two school-age)

Employment: Registered dental hygienist.

Education: Merrillville High School, Merrillville, Ind.; University of Oklahoma, B.S. zoology; University of California, San Francisco, B.S. dental hygiene.

Community involvement: Parents United of Salem board member; volunteer and member Saltonstall PTO; former volunteer at Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure

Elective offices held: None.