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Mayor Walsh Appoints New Member to Boston School Committee

November 17, 2014

Boston Public Schools

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Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the appointment of Jeri Robinson to the Boston School Committee, the governing body of the Boston Public Schools. Robinson is currently the Vice President of Early Learning Initiatives at the Boston Children’s Museum, and brings decades of early education program development to the group. The 7-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.

“Schools are the heart and soul of our communities, and we need strong and caring leaders on the Boston School Committee making the best choices for our student’s futures,” said Mayor Walsh. “Jeri Robinson is a longstanding member of Boston’s education community who knows the learning landscape, and will be an important voice at the table.”

“We look forward to welcoming Ms. Robinson to the Boston School Committee. Her expertise in early education will be invaluable as we look to expand opportunities for our youngest students,” said Michael O’Neill, Chair of the Boston School Committee.

“I’m thrilled to be appointed by Mayor Walsh to the Boston School Committee,” said Jeri Robinson. “Learning opens the door to opportunity, and I will continue to strive to make the Boston Public Schools the best in the country, for children all the way from Pre-K to high school.”

Ms. Robinson started her career teaching in 1971 as a Pre-K teacher at the Highland Park Free School in Roxbury. In 1973 she began working at the Children’s Museum, and has held several positions at the influential institution during her more than 40-year career. From 1981 to 2013 Robinson was the Director of Early Childhood Programs at the museum, where she developed the first of its kind PlaySpace exhibit, designed to spark creativity in children up to age 3, and other programs, activities, workshops, and courses for preschool children, their parents and caregivers. Robinson has worked with museums, schools, prisons, libraries, and other organizations across the country, interested in developing PlaySpace-type programs.

Robinson has held positions on a variety of boards and committees related to education, childhood development, and the arts. Most recently, Robinson has served as a member of the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Education Leadership Council, as a co-chair of Thrive in 5, as a co-Chair of the City of Boston’s Universal Pre-K Advisory Committee, and as a co-chair of Mayor Walsh’s Education Transition Committee.

Robinson currently resides in Upham’s Corner, Dorchester.

Robinson will fill the spot on the Boston School Committee left vacant by the resignation of Margaret McKenna who resigned. Robinson’s appointment is effective upon being sworn in by the Mayor. Other committee members include: Michael O'Neill, Chair; Claudio Martinez, Vice-Chair; Meg Campbell; Dr. Hardin Coleman; Rev. Gregory G. Groover, Sr., D.Min.; and Michael Loconto.

The seven members of the School Committee are Boston residents appointed by the Mayor of Boston to serve four-year staggered terms. Mayor Walsh made this appointment 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."