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Mary Skipper named new Boston Public Schools Superintendent

Mary Skipper selected as next Boston Public Schools Superintendent
Mary Skipper selected as next Boston Public Schools Superintendent 01:01

BOSTON - The Boston School Committee selected Mary Skipper as the city's new superintendent Wednesday evening.

Skipper, the Somerville Schools Superintendent, was chosen in a tight 4-to-3 vote over Dr. Tommy Welch, the Region 1 Superintendent for Boston Public Schools. Both finalists went through public interviews last week.

"I am honored and humbled to have been selected to lead the district that raised me as an educator and solidified my passion for making a difference in the lives of students," Skipper said in a statement. "This is a pivotal time in Boston and BPS' history, and nothing less than our student's and our City's future is at stake."

Skipper has been the superintendent in Somerville for seven years. Prior to that, she was the Network Superintendent of High Schools for BPS, where she oversaw 34 high schools and 19,500 students.

Superintendent Mary Skipper
New Boston Public School Superintendent Mary Skipper  Boston Public Schools

"I'm thrilled to welcome Superintendent Mary Skipper as the experienced leader and dedicated partner that Boston needs for our young people and families," said Mayor Michelle Wu. "In this moment of challenge and opportunity, Mary is uniquely prepared to drive forward the systemic reforms and immediate results our students deserve."

Skipper will take over for Dr. Brenda Cassellius who is leaving Thursday after serving three years.

The school committee vote came two days after the city, state and school district reached a deal to avoid a state takeover of Boston Public Schools.

"We have a lot of work to do on the agreement that we just signed with the state as well. There are some 40 commitments that have clear timelines and deadlines, some of those come up quite quickly. August 15 is one of those first dates, so there's a lot that we're kicking off right away," Wu said earlier Wednesday.

Tanisha Sullivan, the head of the NAACP's Boston branch, pushed to pause the process and delay Wednesday's vote.

"The concerns are not about the individuals, the two individuals who have been presented as finalists. It really is about the process. It can not be understated how much of an impact the cloud of receivership, potential receivership, hanging over the district, how much an impact that had on this process. It is, for anyone who is interested in taking on a new job, knowing what the job is going to be is a basic expectation," Sullivan told WBZ Wednesday.

Boston School Committee chair Jeri Robinson said the search and interview process was fair and comprehensive. 

Skipper must formally accept the offer in order to begin the process of negotiating the conditions of her contract.

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