Somerville, MA – Dr. Almudena “Almi” Abeyta was unanimously approved by the Somerville School Committee on Monday evening as Somerville Public Schools’ next Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment effective July 1, 2017. Dr. Abeyta, currently the Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in the Santa Fe Public Schools in New Mexico, will take over the position from Dr. Vincent McKay, who is retiring at the end of June 2017 after completing his 10th year as Somerville Public Schools’ Assistant Superintendent.
“We are very excited that Dr. Abeyta will be joining our team,” said Superintendent of Schools, Mary Skipper. “She is a highly-respected educator with a great deal of academic leadership experience and a demonstrated commitment to student-centered teaching and learning. I have no doubt that she will continue to build on the outstanding work and progress that Dr. McKay helped lead during his decade-long tenure in our district.”
As Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in the Santa Fe Public Schools (SFPS) since 2012, Dr. Abeyta oversees 30 schools and all academic departments in the district. SFPS serves more than 13,500 students. Dr. Abeyta also oversees the planning of all extended learning opportunities, pre-K, and secondary school reform in the district. During her 5-year tenure at SFPS, summer school enrollment throughout the district has tripled and the number of pre-K seats offered in the district has quadrupled. Under her leadership, SFPS also started the first International Baccalaureate High School in Northern New Mexico, and in the fall of 2017, opened a new Early College Magnet High School.
“I am incredibly honored and humbled with the opportunity to be the new Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment in the Somerville Public Schools (SPS),” stated Dr. Abeyta. “There are so many great things happening in SPS. I look forward to meeting everyone and being part of the work to improve teaching and learning for every student.”
Dr. Abeyta also added that she was “drawn to SPS because of the community’s commitment to education and the leadership team. I look forward to being a part of the SPS team and moving back to the New England area!”
“Somerville is on the map as an exciting place to work, and our outstanding pool of applicants for this position certainly speaks to that,” commented Dr. McKay. “Dr. Abeyta is going to be an outstanding leader for our instructional team.”
A 2013 graduate of Harvard University’s Urban Superintendent Program, Dr. Abeyta will be returning to familiar grounds in the New England area. She earned a Masters of Education in School Leadership from Harvard in 2004, then was appointed Principal at the Donald McKay K-8 School in Boston from 2004 to 2008, where her and her team’s focus on instruction and creating a healthy school culture led to the McKay School being recognized as a Massachusetts Compass School and a National Title I Distinguished School. She subsequently returned to Harvard and earned a Masters in Education Policy and Management in 2009.
After serving as Executive Intern to the Superintendent in the Springfield Public Schools, Dr. Abeyta returned to the Boston Public Schools as Assistant Superintendent for Middle and K-8 Schools where she supervised 36 schools, serving as coach, mentor, and supervisor to 36 Principals for two years before accepting her current position in New Mexico.
“Somerville is extremely fortunate to have Dr. Abeyta as our next Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment,” commented Somerville School Committee Chairperson, Laura Pitone. “In her impressive track record as an educational leader, Dr. Abeyta has demonstrated a passion for urban education and compassion regarding the needs of students, families, and the school community – a great match for Somerville. I am sad to see Dr. McKay leave SPS and am very thankful for his dedication to Somerville students and staff, and for the role he has played in ensuring that Somerville Public Schools continues to be a leader in urban education. I am also very much looking forward to working with Dr. Abeyta and am confident that she will be equally dedicated to our youth, our staff, and our community.”
Throughout her tenure in public education, Dr. Abeyta’s leadership skills and her commitment to student-centered learning and community involvement have played an important role in school, district, and community improvement efforts. Her list of awards, affiliations, and volunteer/community involvement efforts is impressive, including the following, among many others:
· receiving the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS) Administrator of the Year award in 2015,
· serving as a Mentor for the Harvard Graduate School of Education Doctoral of Education program in 2015-2016,
· serving as a member of the External Professional Advisory Committee to the University of New Mexico College of Education in 2014,
· serving as a member of the Latin-American Advisory commission to Governor Deval Patrick from 2009-2012, and
· being named one of the 100 Most Influential Individuals in the Hispanic Community of Massachusetts by El Planeta newspaper in 2007.