Ernani Dearaujo appointed to the Boston School Committee
Mayor Martin J. Walsh today announced the appointment of Ernani DeAraujo, Esq. to the Boston School Committee, the governing body of the Boston Public Schools (BPS). DeAraujo is the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and General Counsel at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, where he serves as chief legal counsel to the community health center with over 1,400 staff who serve over 100,000 patients, a fully licensed Emergency Department, and an Elder Service PACE program.
"I am pleased to welcome Ernani DeAraujo to this pivotal role on the Boston School Committee at a time when our work on behalf of the students of Boston has never been more important," said Mayor Walsh. "Ernani has strong roots in his community, and over the course of his career he has worked with an intentional focus on bringing equity and access to diverse Bostonians. He joins a group of leaders on the Boston School Committee committed to best serving the students of the Boston Public Schools."
The seven-member Boston School Committee is responsible for defining the vision, mission, and goals of the Boston Public Schools; establishing and monitoring the annual operating budget; hiring, managing, and evaluating the Superintendent; and setting and reviewing district policies and practices to support student achievement.
"I'm grateful to Mayor Walsh for entrusting me with this opportunity to give back to the Boston Public Schools that have so positively impacted my life," said DeAraujo. "From the Bradley Elementary in East Boston to the Boston Latin School, BPS gave me a foundation of academic, social, and emotional strength for adulthood. I want to add my efforts on the School Committee to ensure that all BPS students have the opportunities I did. I look forward to working with the Committee, Superintendent Cassellius, and the dedicated staff of BPS to bring kids and staff back to school safely through this pandemic and continue the course of rebuilding and reimagining BPS to spread excellence across all of our kids and families."
"On behalf of the Boston School Committee, I am pleased to welcome Ernani as our newest colleague, and thank him for his commitment to serving on this Committee," said Alexandra Oliver-Dávila, chairperson of the Boston School Committee. "He has strong connections in the community, a demonstrated passion for helping students succeed, and great experience as a graduate of our schools. I look forward to working alongside him in service to the students, families, and educators of the Boston Public Schools and commend Mayor Walsh for this appointment and his ongoing commitment to ensure the Boston School Committee represents the diversity of our schools and our city."
DeAraujo is a lifelong resident of East Boston, where he currently resides with his family, and where he is very involved in the community through his work at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, and as a former neighborhood liaison for East Boston during the Administration of former Mayor Thomas Menino. He is the first person from East Boston to serve on the Boston School Committee. In addition, he is the former President of NOAH Community Development Corporation, where he oversaw the East Boston-based community development corporation and worked to create affordable housing and community building, especially through youth development and environmental justice. He co-founded a program for East Boston High School, named the Mario Umana Public Service Fellowship, that works to connect students with internship opportunities in government and summer programs and helps students apply to college.
DeAraujo attended Boston Public Schools, including Bradley Elementary, Umana Academy, and Boston Latin School (BLS), and went on to receive a B.A. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, VA. In addition, DeAraujo is a Trustee of the BLS Association, Board Secretary for the Center for Community Health Education Research and Service, Inc, and is Vice Chairman of the John William Ward Fellowship, where he helps coordinate public service programs for BLS students.
The members of the school committee are Boston residents appointed by the Mayor of Boston to serve four-year staggered terms. Mayor Walsh made these appointments based on a list of candidates recommended by a 13-member Citizens Nominating Panel composed of parents, teachers, principals, and representatives of business and higher education. Under the legislation that established the appointed School Committee, "the Mayor shall strive to appoint individuals who reflect the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic diversity of the city."
On January 4, the Boston School Committee re-elected both Alexandra Oliver-Dávila to Chairperson and Michael O'Neill to Vice Chairperson in unanimous votes. In December 2020, the committee engaged in professional development training which was led pro bono by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, as part of its efforts to examine policies and more deeply understand their impact on communities of color.
The School Committee meets approximately twice per month during the school year to adopt, review and modify policies and practices that support teaching, learning and improved student achievement. With the exception of executive sessions, Committee meetings are open to the public, feature public comment periods and are broadcasted on Boston City TV.
For more information on the School Committee, please visit here.