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Mayor Walsh Announces Appointments to Boston School Committee
On January 6, 2020, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the reappointments of Alexandra Oliver-Dávila and Lorna Rivera to the Boston School Committee, the governing body of the Boston Public Schools (BPS). Oliver-Dávila currently serves as the Executive Director of Sociedad Latina, Inc., and has been an active member of the School Committee since her appointment in 2016. In 2019, she served as vice chairperson of the Committee, and co-chair of the Superintendent Search Committee. Dr. Rivera is the Director of the Mauricio Gastón Institute for Latino Community Development & Public Policy, and an Associate Professor of Women's & Gender Studies at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. She has been an active member since her appointment in 2019. Oliver-Dávila and Dr. Rivera are both parents of current BPS students.
"I am proud to reappoint both Alexandra and Lorna to the Boston School Committee, both tremendous leaders who put the best interest of our students and schools first," said Mayor Walsh. "I want to thank both of them for their dedicated service, and I look forward to our continued work as we ensure every single student in Boston can reach their full potential."
The seven-member Boston School Committee is responsible for defining the vision, mission and goals of the Boston Public Schools; establishing and monitoring the annual operating budget; hiring, managing and evaluating the Superintendent; and setting and reviewing district policies and practices to support student achievement.
"We are thrilled to welcome two dedicated colleagues back to the Boston School Committee," said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael Loconto. "I look forward to continuing to work with Dr. Rivera and Vice-Chairperson Oliver-Dávila to further develop and strengthen the district's strategic vision, improving educational outcomes for all BPS students."
As Executive Director of Sociedad Latina, Oliver-Dávila works to increase opportunities in education, workforce development, civic engagement and arts and culture for Boston's Latino youth and families. During her time at Sociedad Latina, Oliver-Dávila helped create partnerships between the organization and the Colleges of the Fenway, Museum of Fine Arts and Longwood medical area hospitals. She has also provided collaborative leadership in other organizations such as the Greater Boston Latino Network and Boston Youth Service Providers Network. Other organizations she is involved with include: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston After School & Beyond, Boston Children's Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and the National Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC), among others.
Oliver-Dávila currently resides in Roslindale. She is a graduate of Emmanuel College, where she earned a B.A. in Political Science and Tufts University, where she earned a Master of Public Policy.
"Working alongside my colleagues on the Boston School Committee to support student achievement is a responsibility I take very seriously," said Oliver-Dávila. "I am incredibly excited to continue investigating ways to implement critical youth voice in policy decisions and leverage community partnerships for the betterment of this district and the entire City of Boston."
Currently, Dr. Rivera is working on the Latinx Student Success Initiative, a partnership with Bunker Hill Community College, to improve retention and graduation rates for Latinx college students. Dr. Rivera also works with the Talented & Gifted (TAG) and Proyecto Alerta afterschool programs that serve Latinx bilingual students in the Boston Public Schools. She has extensive community service and co-founded a national nonprofit, WE LEARN, dedicated to advancing women's literacy. Dr. Rivera serves on the Advisory Boards of the Center to Support Immigrant Organizing and the Latino Education Institute, and on the Board of Directors for the Hyde Square Task Force, an arts-based youth development organization serving Afro-Latinx youth in Boston.
Dr. Rivera has a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from DePaul University, state of Illinois licensure in Language Arts & Social Studies grades K-9, and a Masters and Doctorate in Sociology from Northeastern University. Between 1994 and 2001 she taught G.E.D. classes and also was the director of the Adult Learners Program at Project Hope in Dorchester. She lives in Roslindale.
"As a BPS parent, I am profoundly committed to the important charge of this committee, working to close opportunity and achievement gaps for our youth," said Dr. Rivera. "I am very grateful for this opportunity to remain on the Boston School Committee and continue leading the ELL Task Force, advocating for English learners and all students and families of the Boston Public Schools."
The seven members of the School Committee are Boston residents appointed by the Mayor of Boston to serve four-year staggered terms. Mayor Walsh made these appointments based on a list of candidates recommended by a 13-member Citizens Nominating Panel composed of parents, teachers, principals, and representatives of business and higher education.
For more information on the School Committee can be found here.