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MARY SKIPPER SELECTED AS BOSTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT
BOSTON - Wednesday, June 29, 2022 - On Wednesday, June 29, 2022, the Boston School Committee voted to offer the position of Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) to Mary Skipper.
The vote took place during a public meeting at which School Committee members discussed the qualifications of two finalists for the Superintendent position. Last week, BPS hosted numerous public interviews with the two candidates with various stakeholder groups, including students, families, educators, and community partners, wrapping up a search process that began in March under the guidance of a nine-member Search Committee. Video footage of last week’s interviews is available online.
Skipper must formally accept the offer for the BPS position in order to begin the process of negotiating the conditions of her contract with the School Committee, including salary, benefits and starting date with BPS.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Superintendent Mary Skipper as the experienced leader and dedicated partner that Boston needs for our young people and families,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “In this moment of challenge and opportunity, Mary is uniquely prepared to drive forward the systemic reforms and immediate results our students deserve. Her knowledge and relationships from serving at every level in BPS–as a classroom teacher, school leader, and longtime district administrator–and as a successful superintendent in the area, will supercharge our work. Thank you to our search committee and the Boston School Committee, especially with the leadership of Chair Jeri Robinson, for diligent and thorough work throughout this process, and I’m grateful to Dr. Tommy Welch for his passion as an educator and administrator, his connection to communities, and commitment to our schools. We have much work to do together across all our communities and sectors in the city, and I can’t wait to deliver on the promise and possibility for our kids.”
Skipper has served as the Superintendent of the Somerville Public Schools (SPS) for seven years. She joined SPS in July 2015 following years of exemplary service at Boston Public Schools. She quickly made her mark in Somerville as an innovative and visionary thinker, a passionate advocate for all youth, and a strategic systems builder whose approach includes leveraging community resources to support students. Under her tenure, Somerville has emerged as a leader in using data to inform continuous progress and ensure a student-centered approach to teaching and learning driven by an unfailing commitment to equity of opportunity and access for all students.
"Tonight's decision by the School Committee is a huge step forward for the District," said Boston School Committee Chairperson Jeri Robinson. "On behalf of the School Committee, congratulations to Mary Skipper on becoming Boston's next Superintendent. Under her leadership we will continue prioritizing the needs of our students so that they can receive the support and quality education necessary to excel inside the classroom. I would also like to thank Dr. Tommy Welch for his continued commitment to BPS, our students and our City.”
Before coming to Somerville, Superintendent Skipper was Network Superintendent of High Schools for BPS, where she oversaw 34 high schools serving approximately 19,500 students. During her time as Network Superintendent, Boston's public high schools achieved the lowest drop-out and the highest graduation rates in BPS history. Among her most notable accomplishments while at BPS, Superintendent Skipper helped launch TechBoston Academy (TBA) as the founding Headmaster in 2002. Under her leadership, TBA grew from a 9-12 high school serving 75 students to a 6-12 school with a staff of more than 100 serving a diverse student population of more than 1,000, 30% of which were English Language Learners and 25% of which were Special Education students. The school’s success was marked in 2011 with a visit from then-President Barack Obama where he delivered a major education policy speech.
“I am honored and humbled to have been selected to lead the district that raised me as an educator and solidified my passion for making a difference in the lives of students,” said Mary Skipper. “This is a pivotal time in Boston and BPS’ history, and nothing less than our student’s and our City’s future is at stake. I look forward to working with our families, educators, community leaders and our students to ensure every BPS student has the opportunity for a great education that sets them up for success in school and in life.”
During this leadership transition, Skipper will work closely with Dr. Drew Echelson, who will serve as Acting Superintendent following the June 30 departure of Dr. Brenda Cassellius. Dr. Echelson will lead ongoing district initiatives, including daily operations and the implementation of the Systemic Improvement Plan negotiated with DESE, until Superintendent Skipper begins her tenure.
"I'm deeply committed to working closely with Ms. Skipper to ensure a smooth transition," Dr. Echelson said. "Mary has always been a very empathetic listener who leads with purpose, humility and an unwavering belief in our children. I look forward to strengthening our work and leveraging much-needed reinforcements to accelerate reforms in BPS, especially as it relates to racial equity, Special Education, native language access, and improved transportation systems."
Skipper holds a Bachelor's in English and Latin from Tufts University. In addition, she earned a Master's in Education Policy from Harvard and a Master's in Education Leadership from Columbia Teachers College.