Somerville, MA – The Somerville School Committee voted unanimously this evening to offer Mrs. Mary Skipper the Somerville Superintendent of
Schools position. Mrs. Skipper currently serves as the Network Superintendent for High Schools for the Boston Public Schools, where she oversees the district’s 34 high schools serving a student population of 19,500. She succeeds Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi, who is retiring in July 2015 following 10 years of distinguished service in the Somerville Public Schools.
“We were fortunate to have an outstanding slate of finalists for this position, each of whom brought strong backgrounds in urban, public education and generously shared ideas with us,” said School Committee Chair Christine Rafal. “Each of the three finalists came with excellent credentials and we thank all the community members who shared in our serious consideration of each candidacy. Ultimately, the Committee felt that Mary Skipper is the best-suited candidate to lead our students and our school district to the next level. We look forward to working with her in furthering Somerville’s exceptional teaching and learning community in service to students’ current and future success.”
“Mary Skipper’s track record of bringing innovation to diverse neighborhoods is a terrific match for what we’re doing here in Somerville,” said Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “From her time as TechBoston Academy’s founding headmaster, to her current role as Boston Schools’ network superintendent, Mary has understood the importance of students developing problem-solving skills and the use of transparent, data-based decision-making to drive schools forward. All three finalists were fantastic candidates, and I’m grateful we had such a tough decision before us. I look forward to working with Mary and building upon Somerville Public Schools’ great recent successes.”
Under Mrs. Skipper’s leadership as Network Superintendent, Boston high schools have achieved the lowest drop-out and the highest graduation rates in BPS history. Prior to assuming her current position, she was Chief Education Officer/ Headmaster of TechBoston Academy (TBA), which she helped launch within the Boston School System as the Founding Headmaster in 2002. She successfully grew TBA from a 9-12 high school with 75 students and 10 staff members, 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. Additional roles Mrs. Skipper has held within the Boston Public School System include Assistant Academic Superintendent for Pilot Schools, and Technology Project Manager within the Office of Instructional Technology. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Latin from Tufts University, a Master’s Degree in Latin and Greek from Tufts University, a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University, and is currently working toward her Doctorate in Urban Leadership from Teacher’s College at Columbia University.
“This was truly a community process,” said Paul Bockelman, Ward 6 School Committee member and Chair of the Superintendent Search selection process. “I thank everyone who took the time to contribute to the search – and there were hundreds of people who did! That’s what makes Somerville great!”
“Mary Skipper is an outstanding leader who will be committed to Somerville and who will challenge and inspire us all in our work,” he added.
Mrs. Skipper was selected from a pool of more than 60 original applicants, and was one of three finalists to interview for the position. Other finalists were Dr. Kriner Cash and Dr. Fredrick McDowell. The finalists concluded their visits to Somerville last week with public, televised interviews with the full School Committee. Mrs. Skipper will assume her responsibilities in Somerville in July of 2015.