Kathryn Peirce – What a Treasure
On the eve of Kathryn Peirce’s last day as Holliston’s Principal Assessor, the Holliston Reporter stopped by to chat. Many at that time in their career would have told me to go away – not Kathryn (Kathy to friends). That courtesy and attention would seem to encapsulate the essence of Mrs. Peirce – both personally and professionally. It was a great pleasure to spend some precious time with her.
After twenty-five years in the Holliston Assessor’s office, Mrs. Peirce is looking forward to devoting her time to her personal passion, helping others through personal crisis. Kathryn went to college in Canada to become a veterinarian. She graduated with a degree in English and Psychology. Like so many others who graduated with a college degree, often a career path emerges far from the original plan. Holliston has been fortunate that Mrs. Peirce chose to get into the assessing profession and bring our town into the 21st century of assessing and technology.
Perhaps her education manifested in her approach to serving Holliston’s residents. She always strove to be equitable, fair, and consistent – treating everyone with dignity and respect – not a number. The goal is to have all taxpayers pay their fair share. Mrs. Peirce’s goal was to ensure that indeed that was the case – reviewing individual requests when they came in.
Mrs. Peirce humbly deferred credit to others who have helped build such a strong financial team for Holliston. Peter Barbieri, a long-time elected member of the Holliston Board of Assessors and other assessors have taught Peirce a lot about the nuances of assessing.
Mrs. Peirce’s positive impact on the profession extends beyond Holliston. A Natick resident, she is an elected Assessor in her town and an appointed assessor in Framingham. A wall of plaques testifies to her leadership in county and state-wide associations.
In retirement Kathryn plans to continue her work with “Journey-Living with Substance Loss” a bereavement counseling group. She continues her learning in the field of counseling to help others as she has been helped following the loss of her son, Tristan.
Several family photos adorned her office wall. The two bottom photos show members of her immediate family. In the lower left photo, her father, a Marine aviator, was shown with one of his trainees, Ted Williams (tall fellow in the back row to the right). Although the lighting is sketchy, the bottom right photo shows some students measuring a tree. If you look closely her son is the boy sitting against the base of the tree while others do the measuring!
In the world of assessing and setting tax rates, the fall of each calendar year is a very hectic time with very important deadlines. This fall, while new Principal Assessor Kevin Rudden and others do that work, Mrs. Peirce will be with her family in Puglia, Italy attending her son’s wedding.
Thank you “Kathy” for your time in service to Holliston, for your time educating me on assessing, and for your continuing commitment to helping others. We hope you enjoy many years of joy and happiness in the next chapter of your life.
Great article for a great lady. Hats off to you Kathy!