Meet Nicholas O’Roak

Mar 28, 2023

Nicholas O’Roak is running to complete a School Committee term through 2025, after a previous committee member’s resignation.

As he is studying to be a psychologist, O’Roak wants to bring that perspective to the School Committee as students continue to rebound from the pandemic’s negative effects.

One of his priorities is ensuring everyone—students, teachers, and staff— learns how to deal with stress in a healthy manner.

“You have a psychological component to any issue, and not everyone knows how that works,” O’Roak said. “I think that’s where I can offer a little more than the average person.”

O’Roak wants the district to prepare kids for a “varied” world. He said this could be accomplished by having students work with the community and bringing in local professionals to speak about their careers.

Learning from local professionals can help engage students who may have advanced past some subject matter in the classroom, an issue O’Roak said a parent recently raised with him.

“There are problems that we’re not seeing that need to be brought to our attention,” O’Roak said. “Maybe there’s a way to have a community involvement part of the curriculum for the students who excel. I don’t know all the ins and outs of how to implement that, but I’ve found that most people who have expertise in something want to share it.”

Another way to prepare students for the outside world, O’Roak says, is through social-emotional learning and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

“The more you know about the world around you, the easier it is to acclimate to it when you go out into it,” O’Roak said. “It does help for those kids who might feel left out a little bit.”

An issue that O’Roak wants the district to plan for is how Middleboro High School is at capacity, despite it opening in 2021.

“We need to have a proactive solution,” O’Roak said. “We can’t wait and see. There needs to be at least a plan.”

O’Roak is a member of the Middleboro Rotary Club and Cultural Council. He said that running for School Committee provides another way to be involved in the community, help young people, and lead by example.

One of his proudest accomplishments was helping to organize Middleboro’s first LGBTQ+ Pride parade last year. He said the event cultivated heartfelt moments with young people who told him that was one of the rare times they felt comfortable being who they are.

Rather than seeing parents become outraged over certain curriculum content, O’Roak wants to build a culture where students bring home what they learn to discuss it with their parents. Then, the parents can provide their input to the student about why a certain issue is being taught and the family’s perspective on it.

“There’s nothing wrong with voicing your concerns,” O’Roak said. “But parents have to be involved with their kids first.”