Superintendent Search Process

  • On May 1, 2019, the Boston School Committee voted 5-2 to offer the position of Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) to Dr. Brenda Cassellius, who most recently stepped down as Commissioner of Education for the state of Minnesota. The Committee unanimously approved Dr. Cassellius' three-year employment contract with a two-year extension option on May 8, 2019.

    The other finalists for the Superintendent position included Dr. Oscar Santos, Head of School for Cathedral 7-12 High School in Boston; and Marie Izquierdo, Chief Academic Officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida. 

    Numerous public interviews with the three candidates were held with various stakeholder groups. Each candidate participated in a day-long round of four public interviews, totaling nearly 20 hours, which were grouped with community partners, parents, educators, and students. (Video footage of the interviews is available below.)

    Elvis Rodriguez, a junior at Snowden International High School, is the first student in recent memory to participate on the Superintendent Search Committee and have a vote during the process of finalizing the selection of candidates; and the Committee used 12 parents across various panels. The co-chairs of the Superintendent Search Committee were Alexandra Oliver-Davila, vice chairperson of the Boston School Committee and executive director of Sociedad Latina; and J. Keith Motley, former chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Boston.

    Cassellius will succeed Laura Perille, the current Interim Superintendent and former CEO of the education improvement organization EdVestors. Perille became the Interim Superintendent last summer following the resignation of Dr. Tommy Chang, who held the Superintendent role for three years.


    Read Dr. Cassellius’ biography.

    Read Dr. Cassellius’ resume.


    Summary of Search Process:

    • Last fall, the Superintendent Search Committee held a series of community listening sessions to gather input on desired characteristics and priorities for the next BPS Superintendent. 
    • At a special meeting on November 14, the School Committee unanimously approved a Request for Statement of Qualifications from executive search firms and consultants to assit with the search. 
    • On December 5, the School Committee approved a superintendent job description that was drafted by the Search Committee with input from the community via listening sessions and survey responses.
    • On December 19, the School Committee approved the Search Committee's recommendation to hire Isaacson Miller as the firm to assist with the BPS superintendent search process.
    • On April 17th, the Boston School Committee announced that three final candidates are being considered for the position of Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools (BPS): Marie Izquierdo, Chief Academic Officer for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida; Dr. Brenda Cassellius, recently Commissioner of Education for the state of Minnesota; and Dr. Oscar Santos, head of School for the Cathedral 7-12 High School. All three finalists are seasoned education leaders who have deep experience in urban schools.
    • The week of April 22, the three candidates participated in four separate public interviews over the course of a single day.  (More details below.) Read the roster of panelists.


               Panel Discussion With Community Partners (Televised and livestreamed on Boston City TV)

               Video - Marie Izquierdo
               Video - Brenda Cassellius
               Video - Oscar Santos
              School Committee Interviews (Televised and livestreamed on Boston City TV)
              Video - Marie Izquierdo
              Video - Oscar Santos
              Panel Discussion with BPS Students and Teachers
              Panel Discussion With BPS Parents, School Leaders (Televised and livestreamed on Boston City TV)
              Video: Marie Izquierdo
              Video: Brenda Cassellius
              Video: Oscar Santos

Contact Us

  • Boston School Committee
    Bruce C. Bolling Muncipal Building
    2300 Washington Street
    Roxbury, MA  02119
    (617) 635-9014
    Elizabeth Sullivan
    Executive Secretary
    *The Chamber has a capacity of 202 people.