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Searching for a New Boston Public Schools Superintendent

The Boston School Committee is looking to hire a new Superintendent to lead the Boston Public Schools by the end of this school year.

We need all members of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) community involved in this process! You can share feedback on the attributes, values, and experience you'd like to see in our next Superintendent by submitting feedback via emailand see the results of our superintendent search survey below.

Latest updates

The Superintendent Search Committee has selected final candidates for the position of Superintendent of Boston Public Schools. The Finalists are:

  • Superintendent of Somerville Public Schools, Mary Skipper
  • Region 1 School Superintendent, Boston Public Schools, Dr. Tommy Welch

We are excited to share the public interview schedule for the position of Superintendent of Boston Public Schools. The public interviews will take place on June 23 and 24, and will include three community panels and a public interview with the Boston School Committee.

We invite our BPS students, families, and educators to join us for these public interviews - please see the full schedule below.

The first round of interviews began the week of May 30. The candidates will remain confidential until the Search Committee narrows down the pool to a smaller group of finalists. 

On April 6, the Boston School Committee voted to award the RFP for an executive search firm to JG consulting, as recommended by the RFP Evaluation Committee. The School Committee also voted to approve the Superintendent's Job Description.

The job description was informed by extensive community feedback through public listening sessions and a public survey. The public survey was open from March 14, 2022, to April 15, 2022. In total, 507 survey responses were received. 

Interview Schedule

The two finalists will participate in three panel interviews over the course of a single day. These interviews will be conducted remotely via Zoom, with live interpretation in nine languages, including ASL, and members of the public are invited to join. Questions will remain the same all three days, will be provided to candidates in advance, and will be drawn from both the panelists and the previous public responses to the Superintendent Search Survey. Questions will also be chosen live from the Q&A function in the Zoom.

Each day will end with a public interview with the Boston School Committee from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. These interviews will be conducted in the School Committee chambers in the Bolling building and streamed on Zoom and on Boston City TV; members of the public are invited to join remotely.

Following the interviews, the School Committee will meet on Wednesday, June 29 at 5:00 p.m. to vote on the candidate to offer the position of Superintendent of BPS.

Watch the Interviews and Panel Discussions

Watch the Interviews

The following are the public interview sessions for superintendent candidate Mary Skipper.

The following are the public interview sessions for superintendent candidate Dr. Tommy Welch.

Meet the Finalists

Finalists

Mary Skipper is in her seventh year as Superintendent of the Somerville Public Schools (SPS). She joined SPS in July of 2015, following an outstanding career at Boston Public Schools, and quickly made her mark in Somerville as an innovative and visionary thinker and a passionate advocate for all youth. She is also a strategic systems builder whose approach includes leveraging community resources to support students.

Before going to Somerville, Superintendent Skipper was Network Superintendent of High Schools for BPS, where she oversaw 34 high schools serving approximately 19,500 students. During her time as Network Superintendent, Boston High Schools achieved the lowest drop-out and the highest graduation rates in BPS history. Among her most notable accomplishments while at BPS, Superintendent Skipper helped launch TechBoston Academy (TBA) as the founding Headmaster in 2002.

Superintendent Skipper holds a Bachelor's in English and Latin from Tufts University. She earned a Master's in Education Policy from Harvard and a Master's in Education Leadership from Columbia Teachers College. Superintendent Skipper and her husband Peter reside in Dorchester and have three children.

As the Region 1 School Superintendent, Dr. Welch supports 15 schools, serving over 7,000 students across Charlestown, East Boston, and the North End:

  • two high schools,
  • 12 elementary schools,
  • and an early education center.

Dr. Welch’s service in urban education spans over two decades. His work prioritizes the improvement of the academic outcomes of students and connects leaders and resources within the network to provide a coherent instructional vision for all schools.

Prior to coming to BPS in 2015, Dr. Welch was the founding principal of a middle school and later a high school in the South Central neighborhood of Los Angeles. His classroom teaching experience focused on English learners and special education inclusion in the lower elementary grades, as well as English at the high school level.

Dr. Welch is a graduate of Occidental College and the University of California, Los Angeles. In 2020, he earned his doctorate in Educational Leadership at Boston College. Dr. Welch lives in East Boston with his wife and is a parent of two BPS students.

Public listening sessions

Past Sessions

Throughout the spring, we held a series of multilingual listening sessions, and asked community members to reflect on the following questions:

  1. What are the three most important qualities or experiences our next Superintendent should have?
  2. What questions would you like the candidates to answer?
  3. How can the next Superintendent partner with the community to be successful?

Our Timeline

February 23, 2022

Request for Proposals (RFP) for an executive search firm is released

March 2, 2022

School Committee votes on the membership and charge of a 9-person Search Committee

March 9, 2022

Public listening session

March 15, 2022

Public listening session for Spanish speakers

March 22, 2022

Deadline for executive search firm RFP submissions

March 23, 2022

Search Committee updates the School Committee and the public on takeaways from the first two listening sessions that will inform the Superintendent job description.

March 24, 2022

Student listening session

April 2, 2022

Public listening session

Late March/Early April

School Committee approves search firm

April 6, 2022

School Committee approves the Superintendent job description, and issues call for qualified applicants

April – May 2022

Search firm completes initial vetting and background checks on candidates; Search Committee reviews applications and selects candidates to interview in executive session, so as to preserve confidentiality of candidates. Following interview rounds, the Search Committee selects finalists for public presentation

Mid June 2022

School Committee announces final candidates and conducts public interviews

Late June 2022

School Committee votes on candidate to offer the position of Superintendent

Search Committee

Search Committee

Pam Eddinger is president of Bunker Hill Community College (BHCC), the largest of 15 community colleges in Massachusetts. Dr. Eddinger began her tenure at BHCC in 2013 and previously served as president of Moorpark College in Southern California from 2008. Dr. Eddinger’s service in the Community College movement spans more than 25 years, with senior posts in academics and student affairs, communications and policy, and executive leadership. Dr. Eddinger serves on a number of boards and commissions, including the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE), WGBH Boston, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Boston Foundation (TBF), the Massachusetts Workforce Development Board, the Boston Private Industry Council, Achieving the Dream (ATD), the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, and the American Association of Colleges and Universities (AACU). Dr. Eddinger was honored in 2016 by the Obama White House as a Champion of Change. Most recently, she was appointed by US Secretary of Labor Martin Walsh to serve as the Chair of the Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Barnard College and her master’s and doctorate in Japanese Literature from Columbia University.

Lorena Lopera is a first generation immigrant from Colombia. She is a proud Boston Public Schools parent and current School Committee Member. She also serves on the Board of EdVestors. In her professional life she is the Executive Director, Massachusetts at Latinos for Education. Ms. Lopera has dedicated her career to leveraging relationships to resource quality educational opportunities for youth and families. Previously, Ms. Lopera served as Director of Development at BES, a national organization focused on school leadership formation. Prior to her work with BES,  Ms. Lopera worked as Chief of Staff at City Year, Miami. There she oversaw finances, personnel and operations for an organization providing academic support to over 5,000 children across Miami-Dade County Public Schools. Beforehand,  Ms. Lopera worked on cultivating corporate philanthropy and individual donors with the Posse Foundation and Epiphany School. She started her career in education working as a community organizer at Sociedad Latina.  She knows how much hard work, resilience, and support goes into simply finding the right opportunities for success. Through her community work,  Ms. Lopera wants to ensure that students, educators, and families can move beyond fighting for access, and focus on creating impact.  Ms. Lopera believes patience, cooperation, hard work and a passion to provide quality education for youth and families help build strong communities and future opportunities.

Marcus McNeill broke barriers when he was appointed to serve on the Transition Committee and as an Advisor to Mayor Michelle Wu. In his time on the committee, Mr. McNeill provided high-level support and engagement on education initiatives to the incoming Mayor and senior administration officials. 

Outside of his professional work, Mr. McNeill is heavily involved in community service and has dedicated five years to a non-profit organization in Massachusetts; Project 351. Mr. McNeill is currently a Playbook Trainer and pushes the organization's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programming in partnership with the Boston Celtics. Mr. McNeill continues to be an active voice and leader in Boston’s politics as a Senior at Fenway High School.

Roxi Harvey, chair of the Boston Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SpEdPAC), represents families of 11,000 students with disabilities. She leads workshops and events on special education and is a member of several community stakeholder boards with a focus on improving family experience and increasing community leadership. Ms. Harvey is a highly knowledgeable, effective team leader who collaborates with BPS staff and community stakeholders to ensure students and families receive high level support and services. She serves as an appointed member of the English Language Learners (ELL) Task Force and its subcommittee for students with disabilities. Ms. Harvey has extensive experience in K-12 programs and currently is employed in higher education Access Services. She is a licensed Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) and a special education surrogate parent (SESP). A BPS alumna and a BPS parent, she is a long-term resident of the city of Boston after her family immigrated to the United States. Ms. Harvey prioritizes authentic family engagement, family voice and special education. Prior to spending the last 11 years as a community advocate, Roxi Harvey researched and published articles on the impact of stimulants on executive functioning using animal models.

A life-long Bostonian and BPS graduate, Michael O’Neill has spent more than 25 years as a leader in Boston’s leading financial service firms including SBLI, U.S. Trust and Citizens Financial Group. He currently serves as Executive Vice President at Zozimus, an 85+ person agency headquartered in Boston.

Mr. O’Neill served as Chair of the Boston School Committee from 2013-2017, during which time he oversaw the Strategic Planning process for the School Committee, the Superintendent Search process that resulted in the hiring of Superintendent Tommy Chang, and the development of the Opportunity & Achievement Gap Task Force. He currently serves as the Committee's Vice Chair. Mr. O’Neill is the immediate past-chair of the Board of the Council of Great City Schools (CGCS), which is the main governing body of the coalition of the nation’s 76 big city school districts. He is also the Chair of the Private Industry Council’s Youth Council, overseeing all federal Workforce Investment Act funding for youth efforts.

Mr. O’Neill is a graduate of Boston Latin School, Boston College, Babson College, the Stonier Graduate School of Banking, and Royal Bank of Scotland/Harvard Business School Executive Leadership Programme.

Carline Pignato is a Principal at the William E. Channing in Hyde Park. She, her teacher-teams, and families have led the school out of turnaround - a state designation status. A product of BPS and a former English language learner, Dr. Pignato knows first-hand the promise and opportunities for excellence within the district. She is an active member of the Boston Public Schools Opportunity and Achievement Gap Task Force. 

 

Dr. Pignato’s passion for reading and literacy resonates in every classroom. The William E. Channing Elementary School led by her was the recipient of The Good to Great Grant and was also nominated for the Massachusetts Reading Association Exemplary Reading Award, sponsored by the Massachusetts Reading Association (MRA) to recognize and promote outstanding reading programs for all children. Dr. Pignato believes that districts and schools must create conditions where children see themselves as future world leaders and generation investors. In collaboration with her key school partner, the Boston Schools Fund, she created social-emotional and academic systems to ensure that the losses brought on by the pandemic are recovered and sustained through evidence practices. Dr. Pignato has served on the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education’s Principal Advisory Committee. Her current work includes graduate school faculty preparing principal candidates to serve their school communities.

Gene Roundtree is a one of the Secondary School Superintendents in Boston Public Schools.  Before his current assignment, Mr. Roundtree was Head of School at Muriel S. Snowden International School at Copley for six years. Snowden is one of two International Baccalaureate schools in BPS and was a finalist for the Edvestors Schools on the Move Prize in 2018.  Mr. Roundtree received his training as a Principal Fellow at the Eliot K-8 Innovation School in the North End as part of the Lynch Leadership Academy at Boston College. 

Mr. Roundtree began his career with the Boston Public Schools as a paraprofessional at McKinley Middle School in 2003. He began teaching Biology at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School in 2004. He took a leave of absence from Madison Park to pursue an M.Ed in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education on a James Bryant Conant Fellowship and spent the following summer planning the Boston Public Schools’ New Teacher Institute as an Education Pioneers Fellow. He returned to the classroom in 2009 and remained a teacher until 2014. Mr. Roundtree earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Boston University where he was a proud member of the BU Football Team for one year and the BU track team for four years, serving as co-captain during his senior year.

Jessica Tang is the President of the Boston Teachers Union, representing over 10,000 active and retired educators. She is the first person of color, first openly queer and first woman in over thirty years to serve in this role. She is a co-founder of the Teacher Activist Group-Boston, Boston Education Justice Alliance and MA Education Justice Alliance, and serves as a board member for several civic and labor groups including Citizens for Public Schools, Private Industry Council, Boston Partners in Education, Parent Teacher Home Visit Project and the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance. She is also the first APIA member to serve on the American Federation of Teachers Executive Council. Ms. Tang serves as a Vice President of both the Massachusetts AFL-CIO and American Federation of Teachers-Massachusetts, and is a former co-chair of the Massachusetts Asian-American Educators Association. As a teacher-activist, she has been involved in many different community organizations that are working to advance racial, social and economic justice. She earned her Bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and holds an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

José Valenzuela is a 14-year veteran teacher of the Boston Public Schools and currently teaches history at Boston Latin Academy. Born in the Dominican Republic, he is a life-long resident of Boston and is a graduate of BPS, as well as the parent of a current student. He is the founder of Beat the Streets New England (formerly Boston Youth Wrestling) a sports-based youth development organization that has used the sport of wrestling to teach habits and skills for success in life to thousands of students in Boston and Providence. Mr. Valenzuela also serves on the Boston Teachers Union's Collective Bargaining Negotiating Team, and is a delegate on the American Federation of Teachers Latino Issues Task Force.

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