Three Finalists Named for School Superintendent; Public Interviews Begin April 22

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The previous Boston Public Schools superintendent resigned in June of last year, and Jamaica Plain's Laura Perille has been the interim superintendent since that time. Starting April 22, the three finalists to be the next superintendent will participate in public interviews.

The three candidates will participate in four separate public interviews during the course of one day. Marie Izquierdo's interviews will be on April 22, Dr. Brenda Cassellius' interviews will be on April 23, and Dr. Oscar Santos' interviews will be on April 24. Please see below for full schedule of public interviews.

The following information was provided by the Boston Public Schools about the candidates:

Marie Izquierdo

Marie Izquierdo is the Chief Academic Officer for the Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida, a position she has held since 2013. During her leadership, there has been an 18% increase in schools receiving average or high state accountability scores, narrowing of the achievement gap in several student populations, increased graduation rates, and an expansion of academically rigorous programming. Izquierdo has more than 25 years of experience in education. After becoming principal of a Miami elementary school in 2004, when she oversaw its turnaround efforts, Izquierdo then worked as a regional director for turnaround for the Florida Department of Education in 2009, when 79 percent of targeted schools saw improvement. She returned to Miami-Dade in 2010, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant Superintendent of Academics before her being named to her current role. She is married with three children.

Dr. Brenda Cassellius

Dr. Brenda Cassellius, who was recently Commissioner of Education for the state of Minnesota. Serving as Commissioner from 2011 through a change in administration earlier this year, Cassellius enacted comprehensive education reforms, including historic new funding for schools, enactment of all-day kindergarten, state-funded preschool for 25,000 children, and has overseen historically high graduation rates. She has also served on the board of directors for the Council for Chief State School Officers, and contributed to the development of, “10 Equity Commitments,” which education chiefs across the country worked to adopt to further equity goals and outcomes. Cassellius began her career in 1990 and has previously worked as a paraprofessional, teacher, administrator, and superintendent in Tennessee and Minnesota. She is married and the mother of three children.

Dr. Oscar Santos

Dr. Oscar Santos, Head of School for the Cathedral 7-12 High School, a private, philanthropy-based school in Boston’s South End, where he has held the position since 2013. Dr. Santos previously served as Superintendent of the Randolph, Mass., public schools from 2010-2013; and worked in the Boston Public Schools in various roles from 1996-2010, spending his last six years as headmaster of Boston International Newcomers Academy. Santos attended BPS as a student, and graduated from Boston Latin School. He is married and the father of two children.

“The Superintendent Search Committee has done a tremendous job carefully assessing candidates to ensure our next superintendent will continue making necessary progress for the Boston Public Schools,” said Boston School Committee Chairperson Michael Loconto via press release. “It’s imperative that our next district leader shares our commitments to equity, closing achievement gaps, and providing a high-quality education for students of all backgrounds. We are pleased to see all three finalists share our values, and we look forward to a thoughtful public dialogue.”

Here are the locations and times of the public interviews:

Panel Discussion with Community Partners
(Televised and livestreamed on Boston City TV)
Dates: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, April 22-24
Time: 10:30 am - noon
Location: Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington St., (School Committee Chambers), Roxbury
School Committee Interviews
(Televised and livestreamed on Boston City TV)
Dates: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, April 22-24
Time: 1 to 3 pm
Location: Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington St., (School Committee Chambers), Roxbury
Panel Discussion with BPS Students and Teachers
Date: Monday, April 22 (for Marie Izquierdo)
Time: 4-5:30 pm
Location: East Boston High School, 86 White St., East Boston
Date: Tuesday, April 23 (for Brenda Cassellius)
Time: 4-5:30 pm
Location: Mildred Avenue K-8 School, 5 Mildred Ave., Mattapan
Date: Wednesday, April 24 (for Oscar Santos)
Time: 4-5:30 pm
Location: Mildred Avenue K-8 School, 5 Mildred Ave., Mattapan
Panel Discussion with BPS Parents, School Leaders
(Televised and livestreamed on Boston City TV)
Dates: Monday, April 22-Wednesday, April 24
Time: 6:30-8 pm
Location: Bolling Municipal Building, 2300 Washington St., (School Committee Chambers), Roxbury
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