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Mayor Walsh, Boston School Committee announce superintendent search committee formation

Mayor Martin J. Walsh and Boston School Committee Chair Michael O’Neill announced today the formation of a Superintendent Search Committee. The Search Committee will be tasked with spearheading the national search for a permanent Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools (BPS).

“The selection of a permanent school superintendent will be our community's most important decision,” said Mayor Walsh. “We are glad to have the space to make the right choice, given that the District is in great hands with interim Superintendent John McDonough. This Search Committee represents every facet of education, from elementary school to college, from parents to teachers to administrators. With their broad knowledge base and vast experience, I know they will work diligently to search every corner of the U.S. to help the Boston School Committee make the best possible choice for our students.”

“Members of the Boston School Committee have been working to update our vision, objectives and priorities as a District, and the natural next step is to engage a search committee to find the very best permanent Superintendent to lead our schools into the future,” said Boston School Committee chair Michael O’Neill. “BPS is nationally regarded as one of the best urban school systems in the nation, and our next Superintendent will build on our progress to make sure every classroom leads the way in excellence, equity and ensures a high-quality education for all. We look forward to working closely with the Mayor and the community to achieve our shared vision, eliminate achievement gaps and build on our successes.”

The Search Committee is a group of respected individuals who represent the diversity of the City of Boston. Each possesses a deep knowledge of BPS, and the group represents a wide array of perspectives which include teachers, current and former school administrators, higher education leaders, parents, business and philanthropy. The Superintendent Search Committee will:

  • Recommend to the School Committee a national search firm to assist in the selection process;
  • Host community meetings to solicit public input on the job description for the new superintendent;
  • Vet and narrow the pool of possible candidates presented by the search firm; and
  • Recommend three finalists for the new superintendent.

Finalists will be interviewed by the Boston School Committee and Mayor Walsh, and will participate in community/stakeholder forums.

The Search Committee includes co-leads: 

Hardin L.K. Coleman, Ph.D., has nearly 40 years of experience with youth development and education, serving as a classroom teacher for elementary, middle and high school, and a school counselor at the middle and high school levels. He currently serves as a Professor of Counseling and Human Development and as the Dean of the School of Education at Boston University. Dr. Coleman was appointed to the School Committee in June 2013 to fill the seat vacated by John Barros, and served as a co-chair for the External Advisory Board for School Assignment to BPS. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from Williams College, a M.Ed. from the University of Vermont, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from Stanford University. Dr. Coleman resides in the Kenmore Square area of Boston.

Robert Gallery serves as Bank of America Massachusetts president, providing business, civic and philanthropic leadership for the company throughout the Commonwealth. He previously served as Chair, and currently serves on the Executive Committee, of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and serves on several local nonprofit boards. Since 2007, Gallery has been a Trustee of the Boston Plan for Excellence, committed to supporting optimal student success and organizational excellence within BPS. He is a graduate of Loyola University Chicago, and received his M.B.A. from Northwestern University.

The Committee also includes:

Michael Contompasis retired from BPS following 42 years of service, including serving as Superintendent of Schools and Chief Operations Officer. He has received numerous awards for his work in education, and is active in local, regional and national educational leadership associations. He is a graduate of Boston University, and received a Master’s Degree in Education from Boston State College, a Master’s Degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Pam Y. Eddinger, Ph.D., is President of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), the largest community college in Massachusetts. Dr. Eddinger has served community colleges since 1993 in various leadership posts, including instruction, student services, marketing, institutional advancement and legislative relations. After immigrating to the U.S. from Hong Kong at age 11, Dr. Eddinger grew up in Miami, Florida. She is a graduate of Barnard College, and earned both her Master’s Degree and Doctorate in Modern Japanese Literature at Columbia University.

Bill Henderson started teaching in Boston in 1973, and in 1989 was appointed principal of the Patrick O'Hearn Elementary School with a mandate to include students with significant disabilities. The school gained widespread recognition for inclusion, academic progress, arts, and family involvement. Upon his retirement in 2009, the O'Hearn was renamed the Dr. William W. Henderson Inclusion School. Bill continues to advocate for inclusion and quality education through consulting and by presenting at universities and conferences. 

A product of BPS, Michael O’Neill was first appointed to the School Committee in July 2008, and is currently serving his second term as Chair. O’Neill has spent over 25 years as a leader in Boston’s banking and insurance industries, and is active in Boston’s nonprofit community, focusing on youth advocacy. He is a graduate of Boston Latin School, Boston College, Babson College and the Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and currently resides in Charlestown with his family. 

Laura Perille is the CEO of EdVestors, a Boston-based nonprofit organization focused on accelerating improvement in urban schools. Prior to EdVestors, Perille worked as a consultant to schools, foundations, and nonprofit organizations serving children and families, including the Greater Boston Food Bank, Crittenton Hastings House, and Community Catalyst/Families USA. She previously served on the External Advisory Committee on School Choice, charged with forming recommendations to design a new student assignment system for the BPS. Perille is a graduate of Brown University, is a Boston resident, and is a parent of one BPS student and one BPS graduate.

Jeri Robinson is the Vice President of Early Childhood Initiatives at the Boston Children’s Museum, and has over 40 years of experience in teaching and consulting in the fields of early childhood and museum education. Robinson has been honored for her work in education by a number of organizations. She received her B.S., M.S. Ed. and an honorary Doctorate in Education from Wheelock College, and serves on numerous boards dealing with family, community, multicultural, and early childhood education issues. Robinson also served as the co-lead of Mayor Walsh’s Education Transition Team. 

Regina Robinson is the Dean of Student Affairs at Cambridge College, focused on providing strategic leadership towards college completion and student satisfaction. Since 2008, Robinson has provided collaborative leadership throughout the Boston community with Boston Metro Early Intervention, Operation House Call, Roosevelt K-8 Parent Council, and the Massachusetts Early Intervention Consortium. Additionally, Robinson serves as an advisory board member for Thrive in Five, and is an executive Board member for the Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SPEDPAC) and Boston School Committee’s Inclusion Task Force team to increase the practices of inclusion and provide a voice for BPS parents. Robinson earned a Master’s Degree from Liberty University, and resides in Hyde Park with her family. 

Richard Stutman has been President of the Boston Teachers Union (BTU) since June 2003, and serves as a vice president of the AFT-Mass and a vice president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO. Prior to his union service, Stutman taught math at the middle school and high school levels for a decade. His wife, now retired, served as a Speech and Language Pathologist in BPS. Stutman is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, and holds a diploma in Financial Planning from Boston University.

Dr. Dania Vazquez serves as the headmaster of the Margarita Muñiz Academy, an innovation school focused on dual language education. Dr. Vazquez has been an educator for over 31 years serving urban children and families, with expertise in ESL, language development, literacy, curriculum development, organizational development, and school transformation. She previously served as the Associate Executive Director at the Center for Collaborative Education, focusing on key initiatives including leadership development and school governance. Dr. Vazquez is a graduate of Columbia University, and received her M.S. in Bilingual Special Education from Bank Street College.

Andrew Vega teaches 8th grade English/Language Arts at Orchard Gardens K-8 Pilot School, a Boston Public School in Roxbury. Vega was named a College Board AP Fellow in 2009, a Teach Plus Teaching Policy Fellow in 2011, and is currently an American Achieves Teacher Fellow. He serves as a teacher advisor for a number of national foundations, and has advised state, local, and national policymakers on education and teaching, including President Obama's top education advisors and US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Vega holds a degree in English from UCLA and a Masters in Teaching from Loyola Marymount University.

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