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Finalists Named for Boston Public Schools Superintendent, Public Interview Process to Begin

On Wednesday, April 17, the Boston School Committee announced that three final candidates are being considered for the position of Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools (BPS). The finalists will participate in public interviews from Monday, April 22 through Wednesday, April 24, which will include questions from students, parents, educators, community partners, and others. (See full schedule below or click here.)

All three finalists are seasoned education leaders who have deep experience in urban schools.

MI Headshot Scheduled for interviews Monday, April 22, is Marie Izquierdo, Chief Academic Officer for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida, a position she has held since 2013. During her leadership, there has been an 18% increase in schools receiving average or high state accountability scores, narrowing of the achievement gap in several student populations, increased graduation rates, and an expansion of academically rigorous programming. Izquierdo has more than 25 years of experience in education. After becoming principal of a Miami elementary school in 2004, when she oversaw its turnaround efforts, Izquierdo then worked as a regional director for turnaround for the Florida Department of Education in 2009, when 79 percent of targeted schools saw improvement. She returned to Miami-Dade in 2010, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant Superintendent of Academics before her being named to her current role. She is married with three children.
BC Headshot Scheduled for interviews Tuesday, April 23, is Dr. Brenda Cassellius, who was recently Commissioner of Education for the state of Minnesota. Serving as Commissioner from  2011 through a change in administration earlier this year, Cassellius enacted comprehensive education reforms, including historic new funding for schools, enactment of all-day kindergarten, state-funded preschool for 25,000 children, and has overseen historically high graduation rates. She has also served on the board of directors for the Council for Chief State School Officers, and contributed to the development of, “10 Equity Commitments,” which education chiefs across the country worked to adopt to further equity goals and outcomes. Cassellius began her career in 1990 and has previously worked as a paraprofessional, teacher, administrator, and superintendent in Tennessee and Minnesota. She is married and the mother of three children.
OS Headshot Scheduled for interviews Wednesday, April 24, is Dr. Oscar Santos, Head of School for the Cathedral 7-12 High School, a private, philanthropy-based school in Boston’s South End, where he has held the position since 2013. Dr. Santos previously served as Superintendent of the Randolph, Mass., public schools from 2010-2013; and worked in the Boston Public Schools in various roles from 1996-2010, spending his last six years as headmaster of Boston International Newcomers Academy. Santos attended BPS as a student, and graduated from Boston Latin School. He is married and the father of two children.

The Superintendent Search Committee has narrowed the list to three candidates after beginning with a pool of 150 that first shrunk to 39. The Committee is using the search firm Isaacson, Miller.

“The Superintendent Search Committee has done a tremendous job carefully assessing candidates to ensure our next superintendent will continue making necessary progress for the Boston Public Schools,” said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael Loconto. “It’s imperative that our next district leader shares our commitments to equity, closing achievement gaps, and providing a high-quality education for students of all backgrounds. We are pleased to see all three finalists share our values, and we look forward to a thoughtful public dialogue.

The co-chairs of the Superintendent Search Committee are Alexandra Oliver-Dávila, 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.

“I’m proud of the Superintendent Search Committee for working tirelessly to find diverse, qualified candidates who deeply understand the issues facing an urban school system like BPS,” said Oliver-Dávila. “It’s critical that we choose a leader who is committed to equity and understands the broad range of needs of the students and families we serve.”

“All three of these candidates are exemplary and any of them could be a strong leader of the Boston Public Schools,” said Motley. “Each candidate has a deep and multi-faceted experience in public education that make them strong contenders for the role of Superintendent.”

“Serving as the first-ever student representative on the Superintendent Search Committee has been a great learning experience,” said Elvis Rodriguez, a junior at Snowden International High School who lives in East Boston, and who is a member of the Boston Student Advisory Council. “It’s been eye-opening to understand how the search process works. As a Latino student representing the largest demographic of students, I’m honored to add our voice into these important decisions.”

INTERVIEW SCHEDULE:

All three candidates will participate in four separate public interviews over the course of a single day. Izquierdo’s interviews will take place on Monday, April 22; Cassellius’s interviews are scheduled for Tuesday, April 23; and Santos’s interviews are scheduled for Wednesday, April 24. The times and groups of panelists will be the same for all three candidates. The locations of the interviews are the same with exception of the panel with BPS students and teachers. (More details below.)

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

Dates: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, April 22-24
Time: 10:30 AM-12:00 PM
Location: Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington Street, (School Committee Chambers), Roxbury

School Committee Interviews
(Televised and livestreamed on Boston City TV)

Dates: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, April 22-24
Time: 1:00-3:00 PM
Location: Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington Street, (School Committee Chambers), Roxbury

Panel Discussion with BPS Students and Teachers

Date: Monday, April 22 (For Marie Izquierdo)
Time: 4:00-5:30 PM
Location: East Boston High School, 86 White Street, East Boston

Date: Tuesday, April 23 (For Brenda Cassellius)
Time: 4:00-5:30 PM
Location: Mildred Avenue K-8 School, 5 Mildred Avenue, Mattapan

Date: Wednesday, April 24 (For Oscar Santos)
Time: 4:00-5:30 PM
Location: Mildred Avenue K-8 School, 5 Mildred Avenue, Mattapan

Panel Discussion With BPS Parents, School Leaders
(Televised and livestreamed on Boston City TV)

Dates: Monday, April 22-Wednesday, April 24
Time: 6:30-8:00 PM
Location: Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington Street, (School Committee Chambers), Roxbury

 

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