Alice Turkel for School Committee
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Alice Turkel

617 491 8436

12 Upton St.
Cambridge, MA

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Cambridge Public Schools


Alice and her family

Alice served four terms on the Cambridge School Committee. She was first elected to the School Committee in 1995. She chose not to run in 2003, having had her third child in the middle of her tenure on school committee.

Alice2011Alice was first involved with the Cambridge Public Schools in the spring of 1990, in a year not unlike this one, in which many families did not receive a place for their entering kindergartener in a school of their choice. Then, as now, many more students applied for Kindergarten than were expected, and new classrooms needed to be opened. By organizing parents across the city, Alice successfully advocated for a new program matching what families wanted and thus the Cambridgeport School was born.

After graduating from high school Alice spent four years working as a theatrical carpenter and then as a cabinetmaker. She then attended Boston University, graduating summa cum laude, with a degree in applied arts in woodworking and furniture design in 1982. She also studied art education and received Massachusetts certification to teach art and industrial arts in grades K – 12. Alice has taught woodworking, at preschool through college level, in public, private and after school settings. She received three consecutive grants from the Cambridge Arts Council to teach woodworking in a Cambridge elementary school.

Alice Turkel with her husband Mitch Ryerson and their three children

Alice's Family

Alice and her husband Mitch Ryerson have three children. Her two daughters attended the Cambridge Public Schools from kindergarten through high school. They went to the Cambridgeport and the King Open elementary schools and graduated from CRLS in 2003 and 2005. Their son is currently in the 7th grade at King Open.

When Alice’s son finishes high school she will have been a Cambridge Public School Parent for 27 consecutive years!

Their oldest daughter graduated from the University of Vermont and then spent two years teaching elementary school in Honduras. She is now working at Boston Children's Hospital as a communications specialist in the Health and Safety Department. This fall she started a masters program at Massachusetts College of Art.

Their second daughter is a graduate of Wesleyan University. She lives in Kentucky where she produces radio programming for WMMT, a public radio station. You can hear her at

Alice’s husband Mitch Ryerson is an artist and furniture maker. Some of his work can be seen around Cambridge. He carved the many stump chairs (including the Winnie the Pooh Tree) on city sidewalks and many benches in parks (including four at Fresh Pond and the benches in the new Cambridge Common Playground). He also made the main desk that greets you as you enter the Concord Avenue Library. He is now working on a playground on the Esplanade and will working on two playgrounds in Cambridgeport in the near future.

Alice peeling bark from a log to be used on the Cambridge Common playground

updated October 10, 2011