Tracy O’Connell Novick is the mother of three children, two Worcester Public Schools alums, one a rising Burncoat High senior; a former Massachusetts public school teacher; a licensed Massachusetts school business administrator; and a longtime education advocate. Professionally, Tracy is in her seventh year as a field director with the Massachusetts Association of School Committees, where she manages social media and focuses on school finance. Tracy is seeking her sixth term on the Worcester School Committee.
When she found in 2008 with young children in school that local press couldn’t cover all that happened at local Worcester School Committee meetings, Tracy took up blogging on Who’s of Who-cester, inspired by the unheard Whos in the Dr. Seuss classic Horton Hears a Who. She has since covered Worcester School Committee meetings, Massachusetts Board of Education meetings, Joint Education hearings, and a myriad of other discussions across the state. Her online social media is considered the place to keep up with what is happening in Massachusetts education policy by many.
During her time on the Worcester School Committee, Tracy spearheaded the Committee’s adoption of in-district transportation; played an active role on the successful search for a new Worcester Public Schools superintendent; has actively reviewed district policy for overdue updates; and has continued to work to direct dollars to the classroom, successfully proposing FY24 funding be moved for a paraprofessional in every kindergarten classroom and an increase in the per pupil funding for supplies. This continues Tracy’s track record of working to get a nurse into every school, to increase facilities funding, and to boost the time and attention on lunch and recess for students.
Tracy has continually also been active both on and of the Committee at the state level in advocacy, particularly in equity in school funding. Tracy was tireless as an advocate, as a resource, and as a educator in the passage of the Student Opportunity Act, the decades-overdue overhaul of state education funding now bringing billions in state aid to local school districts, and millions to Worcester.. Now greeted by “We know: Burncoat” by those at the state level, Tracy continues to press for a new Burncoat High School. Understanding that new high schools only serve some of our students, Tracy also proposed the successful advocacy for restoration of MSBA Accelerated Repair funding, which has provided millions of dollars in roofs, windows, doors, and boilers to the Worcester Public Schools. She ceaselessly notes that the Worcester Public Schools need and deserve greater capital funding support.
While Tracy left the classroom when she had children, she continues to “presume competence,” believing that public goods like education are far too important for anyone to be left out, and applies this to discussions of school finance, accountability, curricular standards, and regulations.
- Ad-Hoc Committee for the appointment of a new superintendent (2022)
- Chair, Standing Committee on Finance and Operations (2022-present)
- Mayor’s Commission on Latino Excellence in Education (2011-2020)
- Certified school business administrator (2019-current)
- Worcester School Committee member (2010-2015, 2020-present)
- Chair, Mayor’s Ad-Hoc Committee on the Possible Establishment of a Exam School and/or International Baccalaureate Program (2012-13)
- English and history teacher, Algonquin Regional High School (1997-2001)
- Past Vice-president, Algonquin Regional Teachers’ Association
- English teacher, Goffstown Regional High School (NH 1996-1997)
- School business licensure, Worcester State University/MASBO
- Master’s of Arts in Teaching, Boston University, School of Education
- Bachelor of Arts (English Language and Literature), Smith College
Personal and Community
- Mother of three daughters (ages 21, 19, 17), one a Burncoat High graduate, one a Doherty High graduate, one attending Worcester Public Schools
- Blogger, who-cester.blogspot.com
- Progressive Champion, 2022
- Friend of MASBO, 2017
- All-State School Committee, 2015
- Defender of Liberty Award from the Central Mass ACLU, 2013