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Boston Superintendent candidates selected; public interviews scheduled

February 19, 2015

Boston Public Schools

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Schools

The Superintendent Search Committee today formally and unanimously recommended four candidates to Mayor Martin J. Walsh and the Boston School Committee for consideration as the next Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. Dr. Dana Bedden, Dr. Tommy Chang, Deputy Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero and Superintendent-in-Residence Pedro Martinez were selected from more than 70 applicants as part of a year-long, nationwide search.

“Every child in Boston deserves a high quality education,” said Mayor Walsh. “The Search Committee has presented four very strong, diverse candidates with proven track records in urban education. Each can bring transformational change to our schools. I look forward to meeting with them and, together with the Boston School Committee, getting input from students, families, teachers, school leaders, partners and others as we ultimately select the best person to lead our district.”    

The 12-member Search Committee has been working since February 2014 to identify desired characteristics in the next superintendent as well as recruit and review candidates. The Committee first held eight community forums across the city to solicit public input. Since mid-January, the Committee has met eight times in Executive Session, conducting more than 40 hours of confidential interviews which yielded robust, thoughtful conversation between a diverse set of highly qualified candidates and committee members.    

Search Committee Co-Chair Dr. Hardin Coleman said, “The Search Committee used as its guide the desired characteristics put forth by the community at a series of public forums. These candidates possess those qualities: a commitment to excellence and equity; bold, innovative thinking; and a sense of urgency to improve outcomes for all students.  These candidates have me excited and energized as we reimagine what’s possible for our students.”    

Search Committee Co-Chair Robert Gallery added, “It became clear during the search process that Boston Public Schools is poised for greatness. All of the ingredients for success are right here. We have an education Mayor, a student-focused School Committee, committed partners and invested families. The will is there. In many ways, we are already nationally recognized for work that is underway. Now we need a superintendent who can bring it all together in a way that continues to improve access and opportunities for students. I’m confident that any of these candidates can harness that potential and take BPS to the next level.”    

On February 23, 24, 25, 26 each finalist will spend one day in Boston participating in a series of public interviews with the School Committee, as well as panel discussions with BPS students, parents, teachers, school leaders, and community partners.     

Additionally, the candidates’ applications will be posted on the search website: www.bostonpublicschools.org/superintendentsearch. The public is encouraged to review the applications, watch the panel sessions and provide feedback about the candidates. An on-line form for interested parties to provide feedback will also be available on the same site as the applications.    

The School Committee will then hold a special meeting to vote on the next superintendent on March 3 at 6 p.m. at 26 Court Street, Winter Chambers.    

“The School Committee is pleased to receive these recommendations,” said Michael D. O’Neill, Chair of the School Committee and a member of the Search Committee. “The search committee worked diligently to identify four highly qualified candidates for this critical position. As we begin the final, public phase of the search, I encourage all BPS stakeholders to attend or watch a panel discussion, and share their feedback online with the School Committee.”    

John McDonough will continue serving as Interim Superintendent through the 2014-15 school year.    

Added Mr. O’Neill, “On behalf of the School Committee, I want to express our deep gratitude to John McDonough and his entire team for their incredible leadership. John has made tough, bold choices to move the District forward and position the next superintendent for success. We are extremely grateful.”   

Public Interview Schedule Some panel discussions will be live streamed at http://www.bostonpublicschools.orgVideos will also be available for viewing online after the public interviews.   

Monday, February 23 - Thursday, February 26  

10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Panel Discussion with Community Partners Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room 559 Washington Street, Boston Moderator: Ayele Shakur, Search Committee Member and Education Chair of Boston NAACP  

1 -3 p.m. School Committee Interview Winter Chambers, 26 Court Street, Boston  

4-6 p.m. Panel Discussion with BPS Students and Teachers English High School Auditorium 144 McBride Street, Jamaica Plain Moderator: Samuel Acevedo, Search Committee Member and Executive Director of Boston HERC  

6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Panel Discussion with BPS Parents and School Leaders English High School Auditorium 144 McBride Street, Jamaica Plain Moderator: Dania Vazquez, Search Committee Member and BPS headmaster   

Finalist Bios   

Dr. Dana Bedden is the Superintendent of Richmond Public Schools in Virginia, where he oversees an economically and socially diverse school district serving 24,000 students. While in Richmond, he has established a multiyear academic improvement plan, a facilities modernization plan and implemented a systems-thinking approach and performance metrics to guide improvements within the school district.     Dr. Bedden previously served as superintendent for the Irving Independent School District in Texas, where he implemented a multi-year strategic plan which involved improving internal and external communication. He also developed a balanced scorecard to support organizational improvement. Before Irving, Dr. Bedden also served as superintendent for Richmond County in Georgia and was a regional superintendent for Philadelphia Public Schools.     Dr. Bedden holds a doctorate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.   

Dr. Tommy Chang is the Local Instructional Superintendent, Intensive Support & Innovation Center (ISIC) at the Los Angeles Unified School District where he oversees 132 schools and approximately 95,000 students.  Dr. Chang is charged with managing LAUSD’s best thinking and resources in schools doing the most challenging and innovative work.     

Dr. Chang previously served as special assistant to the superintendent of LAUSD. He is a former teacher and principal. He holds an EdD in Educational Leadership from Loyola Marymount University, Meds from the Principals Leadership Institute and Teachers Education Program at University of California, Los Angeles and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania.    

Guadalupe Guerrero is the Deputy Superintendent of Instruction, Innovation, and Social Justice for San Francisco Unified School District, where he developed and implemented a multi-tiered system of support approach to provide strategic supports and interventions to address the needs of 132 schools serving over 57,000 students. He previously held several leadership positions with SFUSD. He is a former Boston Public School teacher and principal.     

Mr. Guerrero holds an Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management and an Ed.M. in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE). He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.    

Pedro Martinez is a Superintendent-in-Residence for the Nevada Department of Education, where advises the State Superintendent of Instruction and Governor's office on education policies including the creation of an Achievement District to improve chronically low performing schools. He previously served as Superintendent of the Washoe County School District in Nevada where he oversaw 63,000 students of diverse ethnic backgrounds.    

Mr. Martinez previously served as Deputy Superintendent for the Clark County and Washoe County School Districts. He is the former Chief Financial Officer at Chicago Public Schools.    

Martinez holds an M.B.A. from DePaul University and a bachelor’s from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a graduate of the Broad Institute's Superintendent's Academy.