O’Neill is Elected to Head Boston School Committee

The Boston School Committee has elected its Chair and Vice-Chair for 2015. In unanimous votes Monday, the Committee selected Michael O’Neill for a third term as Chair and Dr. Hardin Coleman as Vice-Chair.

“Michael O’Neill and Hardin Coleman exemplify the standard of leadership we need in order to continue a forward, positive trajectory for our schools,” said Mayor Martin J. Walsh. “Both Michael and Hardin will be invaluable resources as we search for an exemplary Superintendent. The work of the School Committee has always been instrumental in improving our school system, and I am looking forward to working closely with them to serve the best interests of our students.”

“The School Committee is focused this year on hiring a great Superintendent for the Boston Public Schools while continuing to put our strategic vision in place for every student,” O’Neill said. “We made major improvements last year, including the successful implementation of our new school choice system, an expansion of inclusive opportunities and classrooms, the adoption of a revised Code of Conduct that was developed with students and parents, the launch of a hiring initiative designed to increase the talent and diversity of our educator workforce while offering school leaders and teachers the opportunity to select the best people for every classroom, and the continued implementation of a much-improved educator evaluation and professional development system. There is still so much more to do. I appreciate the confidence shown by the members in voting me to another term. We are grateful for the leadership of  Mayor Walsh and look forward to continuing to work with him and his team, as well as with Interim Superintendent John McDonough, to eliminate achievement and opportunity gaps and ensure every student has access to the very best education possible.”

O’Neill, a Boston Public Schools graduate and resident of Charlestown, has served on the Committee since July 15, 2008.He is an Executive Vice President, Financial Services of 451 Marketing in Boston, with more than 25 years of experience in marketing, banking and insurance.

Hardin Coleman was elected Vice-Chair. A resident of Kenmore Square, since 2008 Dr. Coleman has served as Dean of the School of Education at Boston University. He has served on the Boston School Committee since July, 2013. As Vice-Chair, Dr. Coleman will be called on to run Committee meetings in the Chair’s absence.

The Boston School Committee is the governing body of the Boston Public Schools, responsible for defining the vision, mission and goals of BPS, establishing and monitoring the annual operating budget, hiring, managing and evaluating the Superintendent, and setting and reviewing district policies and practices to support student achievement.

Also Monday, Mayor Walsh held a swearing-in ceremony for new member Regina Robinson and appointed Jeri Robinson to a full four-year term. The other members of the Committee are Meg Campbell and Michael Loconto, and the Citizens Nominating Panel is soliciting applications for a vacant seat. Applications, which are due January 20, are available in the “quick links” section of bostonpublicschools.org. Members are appointed by the Mayor to serve four-year terms.

The Committee meets twice a month. Except where indicated, all meetings are held on Wednesdays at 6 p.m. in the Edward Winter Chambers, 26 Court Street, Boston. The next meeting is scheduled for January 14. For a full 2015 schedule of School Committee meetings, visit www.bostonpublicschools.org/Page/253.

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