In May, 2013, the Boston School Committee voted unanimously to appoint Boston Public Schools Chief Financial Officer John McDonough as Interim Superintendent. McDonough, who has served as CFO since 1996, leads the District following the retirement of Superintendent Carol R. Johnson.
“During nearly two decades as Chief Financial Officer, John has demonstrated a clear commitment to equity, transparency and fiscal accountability in our schools,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “He is a trusted leader who knows what it takes to ensure every student succeeds with the right resources in every classroom. John will do a great job building on all the progress we are making in our schools, which will give our community confidence that our schools are in great hands as the School Committee conducts a thorough search for Boston’s next Superintendent.”
In 2011 McDonough led the District’s historic shift to a new funding system that ensures resources are spread more fairly across the city’s 127 public schools. “It is important that this key position is filled by someone with deep knowledge of the District, its priorities and especially the commitments made as we voted to adjust our student assignment plan for 2014,” said School Committee Chair Michael O’Neill. “It is critical for our students’ sake that we continue our strong momentum to filling those commitments and Mr. McDonough is the best choice to put us in the best position to do so.”
McDonough's appointment follows Superintendent Johnson’s decision to retire after nearly six years as Superintendent, with graduation rates at their highest levels in the city’s history and projected enrollment at its highest level in eight years. She had been in office since August, 2007.“I am extremely pleased that John McDonough has been named our Interim Superintendent,” Johnson said. “Since my arrival in Boston six years ago, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with someone with John’s commitment and expertise. It is rare to find a Chief Financial Officer who combines extraordinary fiscal knowledge and skill with a deep understanding of how resources support the academic work in schools. He has stepped in to this role before whenever I have needed to be away from the District. He has clearly earned a reputation as an honest, straightforward voice who values community engagement, partnerships and vision. Anyone who works with our schools knows what a great choice the School Committee has made.”
"Our work toward eliminating achievement gaps and ensuring every family has a quality school to choose will go forward,” McDonough said. “Equity and access to quality are at the core of what we do as a school district. Our talented team of educators is ready to continue the work.”
Carolyn Kain, chair of Boston SPED PAC, credited McDonough with working to expand opportunities for students with disabilities. “John has been an extraordinary partner and friend to our students and parents for many years,” Kain said. “He always makes time to meet with us, understand what our families need and always delivers on his promises. He and Dr. Johnson have been critical partners and we look forward to working with him even more in the future.”
Richard Stutman, President of the Boston Teachers Union, said “we are fortunate that the District will be in calm and capable hands during this transition period.”
Sam Tyler, President of the Boston Municipal Research Bureau, also praised the choice. “John earned the Henry L. Shattuck Award for public service in 2000 for a reason – he is a careful steward of resources who cares deeply about public education, and has created an equitable system that distributes resources fairly for students and teachers,” Tyler said. “We look forward to working with him in the months to come.”
McDonough, a life-long resident of Boston, graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science and M.B.A. from Boston College. In 2005 he received the Bill Wise Award from the Council of the Great City Schools. In 2000 he received the Henry L. Shattuck Award from the Boston Municipal Research Bureau. He lives in Charlestown.