Pia Bertelli

I moved to Waban with my husband John Dragat and our three daughters (now eighteen, sixteen and twelve) from Boston ten years ago. We moved for a friendlier neighborhood and good public schools. We have not been disappointed!

I became very involved at Angier School volunteering in the classrooms and the library. I led the Community Service Committee organizing monthly drives and awareness projects and volunteered in many other PTO activities. As my daughters graduated to Brown and South I remained active in the PTO starting the Music Committee at Brown and assisting or organizing teacher appreciation luncheons, bake sales, the Parent-Teacher Dinner (South) and Southfest.

Outside of school I have started and led two Girl Scout troops for the past ten years and co-lead an Angier Brownie troop with friends who have younger daughters. As a troop leader I enjoy demonstrating to the girls that it is important to be active in the community. I strive to engage them to think about the world in which they live and encourage them to believe they can make a difference where they see a need for change.

For several years, I taught church school to five year olds and later mentored the teenagers on Sundays. On three occasions I traveled with them on mission trips to Honduras during summers. I worked to connect the youth to their church community and the bigger community in which they live.

As my children grew older I had time to study to become a Spiritual Director. The most important aspect of this training is listening and bringing an awareness of the moment to clients. In addition, I am currently employed as the Director of Programming at four senior living communities. Again, in this capacity listening and being sensitive to a resident’s needs and concerns is of utmost importance. Building consensus among the residents to foster a sense of community and develop programs accessible to all is key.

As I have been less involved in school-related activities, my interest in neighborhood and city issues grew. I have been peripherally involved in the League of Women Voters and the Green Decade Committee. I am interested in how development impacts our environment and our communities. I was deeply saddened by the divide created by the way the Engine 6 project was handled. With proper communication between city officials and the community we may have avoided the rift created. With education and dialogue Waban could've had a more positive outcome. Regardless of one’s position, no one should accept the suspension of the democratic process. There are several other issues currently facing Waban. It will be important to have someone on the WAC who is committed to learning the details, understanding the impact, conveying information to the neighborhood and working with city officials to ensure our concerns are heard whatever project or issue is before us.

My experience, training and work positions me well to be that person. As an informed community, we can make decisions in a thoughtful manner. I want to build consensus and a community, of which we are proud to call home and will be sustainable long into the future.