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BPS SUPERINTENDENT ANNOUNCES KEY APPOINTMENTS TO LEADERSHIP TEAM
Executive Team Structured to Achieve Vision of Long-Term Sustainability and Improve Student Outcomes
BOSTON -- Tuesday, March 14, 2023 -- Boston Public Schools (BPS) Superintendent Mary Skipper today outlined her new organizational chart and district-wide management team as she marks her fifth month as Superintendent. The new structure is centered on equity as a throughline across the organization in support of academics, family and community advancement, and operations for the District's 119 schools and administrative offices. It prioritizes practices and policies to eliminate opportunity and achievement gaps throughout the organization.
"We must do everything we can to ensure that our students, especially our black and brown students, students with disabilities, and multilingual learners who have been historically underserved, have full access to the highest quality teachers, classrooms, and schools; that our families feel a strong sense of belonging and support; and that our operations and facilities are working smoothly and fully support teaching and learning," said Superintendent Skipper. "The district office must be in service to our schools so that our schools can be in service to our students and families. Each school, each student, and each family has their own unique needs. The district office must provide clear district-wide expectations and accountability while also still maintaining the flexibility schools need to meet their individual needs.
"The structure of our leadership team will streamline processes and create a more efficient system, enabling us to sustainably assist students, improve communication, and address long-standing systemic issues we see reflected in the Council of Greater City Schools Reports. I believe in the power of shared leadership and decision-making. As we endeavor to be an antiracist organization, we are fully committed to ensuring that we are addressing the barriers to equity, pursuing areas of growth, and leaning on our strengths as a district."
At the root of Superintendent Skipper's vision are her and her team's focus on the growth and development of the whole child, which means taking a holistic approach to educating students and providing them with the resources, support, and guidance they need to be successful. The organizational structure announced today aligns with the key priorities Superintendent Skipper outlined for the District at the start of her tenure in late September, which: prioritizes and accelerates academic performance and provides equitable access to quality education, particularly for those most historically underserved, including Black and Latino/a/x students, students with disabilities, and multilingual students; strengthens access to social-emotional learning; streamlines operations and ensures student safety; develops authentic and equitable family and community engagement practices; improves internal and external communication with families and staff; and increases accountability for both the Central Office and our schools.
The newly announced leadership team is within one of the three Deputy Superintendent's bodies of work:
- Chief of Staff – Leading the team as the Superintendent's right hand is Rochelle Nwosu. Her job is to remove unnecessary barriers so our work can move forward and our leaders can do their jobs effectively. She will also hold the leadership accountable for their work, regularly monitoring the implementation of the District's priorities and projects.
- Senior Deputy Superintendent of Academics – Under the leadership of Dr. Linda Chen, the academics division is focused on support and accountability for students' academic outcomes through teaching and learning. Using an equity lens, the academics team will build on the work of the Opportunity and Achievement Gap task force to close gaps that persist for Black, Latina/o/x, economically disadvantaged students, students with special learning needs, and students who are multilingual learners with and without disabilities.
- Deputy Superintendent of Equity, Family, and Community Advancement – Under the leadership of Dr. Ana Tavares, the Equity, Family, and Community division is focused on ensuring equity as a throughline across BPS, developing authentic engagement practices with families and our communities, providing language access and delivering vital customer service to all our families.
- Deputy Superintendent of Operations – Under Dr. Samuel DePina, the Operations Division is streamlining operations across the District, focusing on the work in the Human Capital and Budget and Finance Offices. The Operations Division also ensures student safety, reliable transportation, and healthy and nutritious meals are provided for every student. Lastly, they work closely with the City on all facilities needs, including the Green New Deal for BPS.
"We do not need to reinvent the wheel," continued Superintendent Skipper. "Great work has been planned out through the strategic plan, which reflects a lot of hard work, good thinking, and stakeholders' voices. My priority right now is to implement structural changes that will help us execute the work more effectively as an organization. Planning is critical, but following through with good execution and accountability measures will allow us to deliver the results our students need."
Earlier in her tenure, Superintendent Skipper prioritized building a Regional Network Support Model to maximize the central office's direct school support. Within this framework, each of the nine regions will be equipped with a school superintendent, operational leader, district social worker, special education assistant director, human capital liaison, equitable literacy coach, multilingual compliance and academic supports, accelerated improvement and inquiry manager, budget liaison, supervisor of attendance, and restorative justice support. Each of the nine school superintendents leads between 10 and 15 schools and a team of regional liaisons to support schools efficiently and expeditiously by delivering critical resources directly to schools in real-time.
This model also provides shared academic and professional learning services, data analysis and systems level improvements, multilingual learning resources, and special education support to improve culture, climate, instruction, and increasing attendance rates, with equity as a top priority.
"Superintendent Skipper has put forth a team that has the expertise, commitment, and heart to deliver for all our students," said School Committee Chairperson Jeri Robinson. "It is exciting to see that this team truly reflects the experiences of our students and families across the district. We have an obligation to meet the needs of all students, and this new structure and team will provide much-needed momentum for this work. My fellow School Committee colleagues and I stand ready to ensure this team has the resources and support necessary to deliver on our mission."
The diversity of the district's leadership team comprises many identities, cultures, and spoken languages representative of the district’s demographics, including Spanish, Mandarin, Cape Verdean Creole, and Portuguese. In addition, several members of the leadership team are also BPS parents and alums.
BPS Leadership Team (presented in alphabetical order):
- Mary Skipper, Superintendent
- Indira Alvarez, Chief of Operations
- Raecia Catchings, Interim Chief of Human Capital
- Dr. Linda Chen, Senior Deputy Superintendent of Academics
- Neva Coakley, Chief of Safety
- Megan Costello, Senior Advisor
- Dr. Samuel DePina, Deputy Superintendent of Operations
- Dr. Drew Echelson, Chief of Schools and Accountability
- Gabrielle Farrell, Chief of Communications
- Dr. Charles Grandson, Chief of Equity, Strategy, and Opportunity Gaps
- Monica Hogan, Assistant Superintendent, Data Strategy, and Implementation
- Jillian Kelton, Chief of Student Support
- Nathan Kuder, Chief of Finance
- Lisa Maki, Legal Advisor
- Rochelle M. Nwosu, Chief of Staff
- Myriam Ortiz, Chief of Community Engagement
- Annie Qin, Executive Director of Government Relations
- Lesley Ryan-Miller, Chief of Teaching and Learning
- Delavern Stanislaus, Chief of Capital Planning
- Denise Snyder, Chief of Family Advancement
- Dr. Ana Tavares, Deputy Superintendent of Equity, Family, and Community Advancement
- Christine Trevisone, Senior Advisor of Specialized Services
- TBD, Chief of Multilingual and Multicultural Education
- TBD, Chief of Specialized Services
Newly appointed department leads include:
- Chief of Teaching and Learning, Lesley Ryan-Miller – As Chief of Teaching and Learning, Ryan-Miller will oversee the departments of Early Childhood, Humanities, English Language Arts, History/Social Studies, Professional Learning, MTSS, Teacher Leadership, Health and Wellness, STEM, Math, Science, and World Languages.
- Chief of Community Engagement, Myriam Ortiz – In her new role as Chief of Community Engagement, Ortiz will oversee the Community Engagement, BPS Helpline, partnerships, and Language Access Departments, including translations and interpretation. Her team will continue to support the Superintendent's Office in designing and coordinating authentic, open, and engaging district-wide opportunities for BPS families, staff, and the general public.
- Chief of Capital Planning, Delavern Stanislaus – As the district’s first-ever Chief of Capital Planning, Stanislaus will oversee the implementation of the Green New Deal for BPS, the District’s long-term facilities plan, the BPS' FY24 capital budget proposal, and the numerous capital projects already underway.
- Senior Advisor of Special Education, Christine Trevisone – As the district’s Senior Advisor of Special Education, Trevisone will oversee instructional compliance with regard to special education initiatives across the district. She will also work closely with Senior Deputy Superintendent of Academics Linda Chen and the Academics Division to ensure that the recommendations provided by the Council of Great City Schools are implemented. She will work to ensure that all students have equal access to the support and services they need to attain academic success and that compliance indicators across the district and within each school are above 95%.The Senior Advisor of Special Education will also ensure compliance with laws, regulatory requirements, policies, and procedures by working with various departments and external entities and partners and supporting the implementation of the Council of Greater City Schools recommendations for Special Education.
Superintendent Skipper also announced she is recruiting for several priority positions through a national search, including Chief of Specialized Services, formerly known as Special Education, Senior Advisor of Organizational Development & Equity, Chief of Multilingual and Multicultural Education, and Chief of Human Capital:
- The Chief of Specialized Services will be responsible for designing, delivering, and executing key restructures in the District's approach to special education and inclusion strategy to better meet student and family needs, including targeted reductions in class sizes and taking a collaborative approach to assessing the needs of students who have individualized education plans (IEPs) and who are English Learners. These efforts stem from the landmark agreement with the Boston Teachers Union, which places a premium on inclusion work being conducted across the entire District and within every classroom.
- The Senior Advisor of Equity and Organizational Development will advise the Superintendent and the leadership team, leading with equity strategy as a primary function of the role, on matters involving organizational development and improvement, as well as the district’s capacity to lead through an anti-racist lens while ensuring that equity becomes a throughline throughout the entire BPS organization across the three divisions: academics, community and family advancement, and operations. This role will drive student learning outcomes, facilitate shared awareness across departments and divisions, ensure tight alignment and coordination across cross-functional projects, and improve district service quality, experiences, and outcomes for students and families.
- The Chief of Multilingual and Multicultural Education will work to ensure all multilingual learners feel a sense of belonging, safety, welcome, and joy for learning and that they have access to native language instruction and support from qualified educators who reflect the linguistic and cultural diversity of the students; are socially and emotionally healthy; have many opportunities to celebrate and show pride in their identity, culture, and language; perform at grade level in content and 21st-century skills, complex communication and collaboration, critical thinking, technology literacy, and self-direction and agency; have skills and options to pursue post-secondary opportunities and are prepared to be active agents for social change.
- The Chief of Human Capital will provide direction and leadership on critical policy decisions and implement district-wide strategies that support approximately 11,000 BPS employees. This role will address complex managerial challenges, restructuring, creating, and streamlining data systems and infrastructure to ensure accurate tracking and maintenance. This role will also manage numerous divisions: Labor Relations, shared services, performance management, payroll, strategic staffing, HR data analytics, employee services, and recruitment.