Kristin Kara ’91, the mother of Henry, in third grade, and Oliver, in first grade, is looking forward to getting more involved in school life as DCD’s new Alumni Association president.
She succeeds Erin Keith Epker ’86, who started the Association back in 2012 and concluded her time as president following the graduation this past June of Teddy, her third child to graduate from DCD after Charlotte ’16 and Molly ’18. Coincidentally, Kristin’s mom, Erin’s mom, and Mary Alice Butters, the mother of Stephen Butters ’89 and Joanna (Butters) Deagman ’92, were Fair Chairs together and are all still in touch. Their families are part of the web of ongoing DCD connections that Kristin hopes to strengthen in her new role.
As the Alumni Association president, Kristin will serve as an ex-officio member of DCD’s Board of Trustees. She’s excited to start something new after four years at home with her two boys.
In many ways, she has come full circle. Kristin grew up in Westwood, and now after years living in Boston, where she worked at the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA), she has returned to Westwood to raise her family with her husband, Yanni Tsipis.
“I never envisioned moving back,” she said. “We loved living in the city, but we had the opportunity to move closer to both of our families and we love being back in Westwood.”
Kristin started her career in public service in the planning department of the BRA, now the Boston Planning & Development Agency (BPDA). She learned valuable networking skills while working for a small PR and marketing firm right out of college and then on Congressman Stephen Lynch’s first congressional campaign. Pursuing her interest in real estate, she started at the BRA in 2002. Despite having no formal background in planning, she worked her way up at the agency, eventually becoming a project manager in the Economic Development department and Deputy Director for Special Projects working in the agency Director’s office.
The summer before Oliver was born, Yanni, Kristin, and Henry moved to Westwood. Kristin continued to work part-time at the BPDA until Henry started pre-K. Childcare and coordinating her schedule with Yanni’s work commitments became challenging to sustain. She finally decided to stay home full-time — and she hasn’t regretted it for a minute! She loves being with her children and says whatever she chooses to do for her next chapter, she wants to be “all in on something I am passionate about.”
“I’ve wanted to be more involved at DCD, but not until both boys were in school full-time, and I could give it the time and commitment it needed,” she said. Kristin has been a class parent for both boys’ classrooms, volunteered in the library, and helped with school-wide events whenever she could. She has helped with admissions events and is now an Admissions Ambassador. In addition, she and Yanni are Annual Fund Ambassadors.
“I’m so happy to be back at DCD as a parent. I love that Henry and Oliver share my school. I have such vivid, happy memories of my years at DCD, playing in the Pine Grove, sledding on the back hill, and competing in the Olympics. It’s so special to share these memories with the boys.”
“I can’t imagine being in a better community, especially given the challenges of last year,” she said. “I am so appreciative of this opportunity [to lead the Alumni Association]. I am honored to take on this role, following in Erin’s footsteps,” she continued. “It provides me with an opportunity to be more engaged with the school community and most importantly to give back by helping to grow the network of alums in the Boston area.”
“I have really enjoyed reconnecting with other DCD alums who are also current DCD parents,” she said. She and fellow DCD parent Emily Oates Torres ’93 both had Mrs. Maloney as a kindergarten teacher, and now share the experience of having children in the same grades, Emily’s son Billy is in the same grade as Henry and her daughter Georgie is in the same grade as Oliver.
“Emily and I always talk about how special it is that our children had the same kindergarten teacher as we did! I can’t imagine that this happens very often and I am so grateful that we ended up back at DCD together with our children,” Kristin said.
Additional alumni connections include Kathryn Novicki ’85 whose son Teddy is also in Henry’s class. Growing up, Kristin’s family was close with Kathryn’s, and Mrs. Novicki was instrumental in Kristin and her older brother Andrew ’89 attending DCD. Vincent Marino ’95 also has children in the same grades as Kristin’s children, Ellie in first with Oliver and Grace in third with Henry. Kristin has also enjoyed reconnecting with Carolyn Flynn ’89, who was in her brother’s class. Carolyn has two sons, Nicky, a kindergartner, and William, a fourth-grader.
When their schedules allow, Kristin and a bunch of her classmates have been getting together over the holidays and occasionally during the year. Just this summer, she saw Sarah Calverley ’91, who was back in Massachusetts visiting her family. “I’m looking forward to reconnecting with alumni from all years in my new role,” said Kristin.
Her experience in PR and politics and time spent talking to folks out in the community during her tenure at the BRA and BPDA should serve her well as she takes the helm of the Alumni Association.
To connect with Kristin, send her an email: