A Springfield native and member of the Springfield School Committee since 2009, Denise Hurst has brought new focus and commitment to promoting issues of equity and inclusiveness in educational opportunities, and was a driving force behind the Association’s Summits on Poverty. She has also been a highly effective leader and communicator, organizing the MASC Minority Caucus in 2016 for which she served two years as chair. (In 2020, the Caucus was formally recognized as MASC’s Division X: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.) In January 2019, she joined the MASC Executive Committee as Secretary-Treasurer.
Ms. Hurst has attended and presented at numerous MASC workshops. She has also attended and presented at multiple NSBA Annual Conferences, including representing MASC at the National Delegate Assembly. She has been an active participant at NSBA’s Federal Relations/Advocacy Institute and the NSBA Equity Symposium. She has served as a delegate to MASC’s annual meeting (2010-present) and as Secretary-Treasurer of Division V from 2014-2017.
On her school committee she has served in numerous capacities, including as the Committee’s vice chair; chair of the Curriculum & Programs, and Legislative & Contracts subcommittees, and as a member of the Budget & Finance, Vocational Education, Technology, and Parent Concerns committees.
Ms. Hurst’s commitment to students and families throughout western MA extends well beyond her school committee service. She volunteers and serves on various boards. She is an inaugural graduate of the Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact, Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, a member of the League of Women Voters, and a graduate of the 62nd Citizens’ Legislative Seminar, Massachusetts Senate.
In her professional capacity she served as the Site Director for the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. In December 2018, Denise was appointed by President Dr. John B Cook to Vice President of Advancement and External Affairs at Springfield Technical Community College. She currently serves as Vice President of Community Impact and Partnerships for the Community Foundation of Western MA.
A graduate of UMass-Amherst with a B.A. in psychology, she also received an MSW from Springfield College. Her achievements and contributions to Springfield and Pioneer Valley communities have been honored on numerous occasions including recognition as the 2013 MASC All-State School Committee member; BusinessWest’s 40 under Forty Class of 2014; 2015 was listed among 100 Women of Color in New England. and Top 25 Women to Watch in Western Massachusetts and most recently in 2019 named Woman of The Year by the Greater Springfield Professional Women’s Chamber. Denise resides in Springfield with her husband, Springfield City Council member Attorney Justin J. Hurst, Sr. and their two sons, Justin Jr. and Jackson Douglas, both whom are students in the Springfield Public School System.