Superintendent's Statement on the Passing of Tom Payzant
Dr. Payzant was a fierce champion for all children and a deep believer in the potential of every student. As one of the longest-serving urban public school superintendents in history, his legacy lives on in Boston’s classrooms today. A native of the Boston area who spent years in the classroom before becoming a school and later district administrator, Dr. Payzant served in a key role in the US Department of Education before returning to Boston to lead our district.
Dr. Payzant spent 11 years as Superintendent of Boston Public Schools and believed that a high quality curriculum grounded in high expectations, coupled with a committed, developed, and supported teacher, forms the baseline of all learning. He pioneered the sharp focus on curriculum and instruction that our students are still benefiting from in 2021. Boston Public Schools was a finalist several years in a row and then a winner of the prestigious Broad Prize for Public Education. There are current superintendents, school leaders, administrators, and teachers who worked under his leadership and countless students who are thriving due to his vision for public education.
He would not want all of these words spoken about him because he always believed that success was achieved as a part of a team. We know these words are so deserved. He was always there to support the work of his colleagues - especially classroom teachers. Our hearts go out to his wife Ellen, his children, grandchildren and extended family.