Superintendent Search Process
On May 1, 2019, the Boston School Committee voted 5-2 to offer the position of Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) to Dr. Brenda Cassellius, who most recently stepped down as Commissioner of Education for the state of Minnesota. The Committee unanimously approved Dr. Cassellius' three-year employment contract with a two-year extension option on May 8, 2019.
The other finalists for the Superintendent position included Dr. Oscar Santos, Head of School for Cathedral 7-12 High School in Boston; and Marie Izquierdo, Chief Academic Officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida.
Numerous public interviews with the three candidates were held with various stakeholder groups. Each candidate participated in a day-long round of four public interviews, totaling nearly 20 hours, which were grouped with community partners, parents, educators, and students. (Video footage of the interviews is available below.)
Elvis Rodriguez, a junior at Snowden International High School, is the first student in recent memory to participate on the Superintendent Search Committee and have a vote during the process of finalizing the selection of candidates; and the Committee used 12 parents across various panels. The co-chairs of the Superintendent Search Committee were Alexandra Oliver-Davila, 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.
Cassellius will succeed Laura Perille, the current Interim Superintendent and former CEO of the education improvement organization EdVestors. Perille became the Interim Superintendent last summer following the resignation of Dr. Tommy Chang, who held the Superintendent role for three years.
Summary of Search Process:
- Last fall, the Superintendent Search Committee held a series of community listening sessions to gather input on desired characteristics and priorities for the next BPS Superintendent.
- At a special meeting on November 14, the School Committee unanimously approved a Request for Statement of Qualifications from executive search firms and consultants to assit with the search.
- On December 5, the School Committee approved a superintendent job description that was drafted by the Search Committee with input from the community via listening sessions and survey responses.
- On December 19, the School Committee approved the Search Committee's recommendation to hire Isaacson Miller as the firm to assist with the BPS superintendent search process.
- On April 17th, the Boston School Committee announced that three final candidates are being considered for the position of Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools (BPS): Marie Izquierdo, Chief Academic Officer for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida; Dr. Brenda Cassellius, recently Commissioner of Education for the state of Minnesota; and Dr. Oscar Santos, head of School for the Cathedral 7-12 High School. All three finalists are seasoned education leaders who have deep experience in urban schools.
- The week of April 22, the three candidates participated in four separate public interviews over the course of a single day. (More details below.) Read the roster of panelists.
Panel Discussion With Community Partners (Televised and livestreamed on Boston City TV)School Committee Interviews (Televised and livestreamed on Boston City TV)Panel Discussion with BPS Students and Teachers
Documents of Interest
Community Listening Session Fliers:
- Search Update Memo from School Committee Chairperson, September 26, 2018
- Superintendent Search Process Timeline (Draft - October 2018)
- Search Update Memo from School Committee Chairperson, October 10, 2018
- Search Update Memo from Search Committee Co-Chairs, October 17, 2018
- Search Update Memo from Search Committee Co-Chairs, November 7, 2018
- Search Update Memo from Search Committee Co-Chairs, November 28, 2018
- Search Update Memo from Search Committee Co-Chairs, December 19, 2018
- Candidate Pool Update - Isaacson Miller search firm, March 12, 2019
- BPS Five-Year Strategic Plan (2015)