Town Clerk Honored At State House
On Wednesday, June 20, Rehoboth Town Clerk, Laura Schwall, was recognized for her positive public leadership and volunteerism efforts by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) at the fifteenth annual Unsung Heroines celebration conducted at the Massachusetts State House in Boston.
The MCSW is an independent state agency that was legislatively created in 1998 to advance women of the Commonwealth to full equality in all areas of life and to promote their rights and opportunities. The Commission provides a voice for Massachusetts women and is comprised of 19 members appointed by the Governor, Senate President, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Caucus of Women Legislators.
“Every day, thousands of women from across our Commonwealth perform unheralded acts of public leadership and volunteerism that makes our neighborhoods, cities, and towns better places to live”, said Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito. “The Unsung Heroines of 2018 are truly positive change makers. They may not always make the news, but they most assuredly make a difference. A grateful Commonwealth sings their praises today to show each of these special women how much we value their efforts and contributions.”
The event was conducted in the Great Hall of Flags, where 131 women were recognized for their contributions to the advancement of women and girls across the Commonwealth. Each recipient was nominated to the MCSW by a Massachusetts Legislator. Laura Schwall was nominated by State Representative Steven Howitt.
Laura Schwall Bio
There is a sign that hangs in Town Clerk Laura Schwall’s office which reads “Live your Dreams … Love your Life”. These words exemplify a life dedicated to the service of others. As Rehoboth’s Town Clerk, Laura has three overriding missions. The first is to make her department a welcoming and helpful place to visit for all who have a need. The second is to introduce new and innovative methods to make the services of her department more accessible to the needs of the ever-increasingly busy lives of the citizens. And, third is to increase participation in local, state, and federal elections. Laura believes elected officials must be available to the people they serve, so she conducts monthly outreach programs to our senior population by bringing the services of her department to the Senior Center, and schedules home visits in the evenings and weekends for anyone who has difficulty getting out and about. Laura writes monthly articles to keep citizens updated on Town events, meetings, and elections. She works collaboratively with the middle school to offer mock elections to introduce the voting process and the high school to conduct voter registration drives to encourage teenage participation in Town Meeting and elections.
Laura also dedicates her time in support of several non-profit and volunteer groups. She is the President of the Anawan Lions Club; a Trustee of the Rehoboth Antiquarian Society; a member of Rehoboth’s 375th Anniversary Committee, where in addition to volunteering to assist in monthly fundraising events, she served as Chairperson of the Rehoboth 375th Anniversary Ball Committee; and a member of the Rehoboth 375th Anniversary Parade Committee. As a Justice of the Peace, Laura conducts wedding ceremonies for active military personnel on a pro bono basis. Laura also shares her passion for baking by always finding time to donate cookies for a fundraiser or someone who could use a ‘plate of cheer’. Each Christmas season, with the help of her daughter, Jennifer, Laura bakes over 200-dozen assorted bakery style cookies and delivers them to people who make a difference in the lives of others. It is her life’s work to make each person’s day a little brighter by sharing a smile and a kind word. She is “Living her Dreams and Loves her Life”.
Prior to becoming Town Clerk, Laura was an educator at the Palmer River Elementary School where she taught technology skills to over 600-children each week. She graduated summa cum laude from Northern University, has been married for 34-years, and has one daughter, Jennifer.