The Department of Elementary and Second Education (DESE) announced today that 15 school districts will participate in the Influence 100 pilot program, an initiative aimed at increasing the racial and ethnic diversity of superintendents and creating more culturally responsive districts and leaders in order to promote better outcomes for students.
Influence 100 launched Friday, October 11, the same day that DESE began the second cohort of InSPIRED fellows, In-Service Professionals who are committed to Increasing the Racial and Ethnic Diversity of the teacher workforce. InSPIRED fellows meet with high school and college students to encourage them to consider teaching, and this year, the fellowship will also host regional groups in order to support retention of culturally responsive and diverse educators.
Both Influence 100 and the InSPIRED fellows aim to diversify the Commonwealth’s educator workforce. Approximately 40 percent of the Commonwealth’s public school students are students of color, but only 8 percent of teachers and 4 percent of superintendents identify themselves that way. In “Our Way Forward,” Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley included increasing educator diversity as an evidence-based practice that will help address achievement gaps and improve instruction for all students.
“I look forward to working with the Influence 100 fellows and districts and with the second cohort of InSPIRED fellows to make our schools more welcoming and supportive of students and educators of all backgrounds,” said Commissioner Riley.
Influence 100 fellows will participate in a two-year leadership development program about the nuances of being a superintendent in Massachusetts, with a focus on what it takes to lead a district to be more culturally responsive and intentional in diversifying the educator workforce to better serve all student. Funded by the Barr Foundation, the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, and Education Leaders of Color, the program includes two components: a fellowship program for qualified educators who desire to move into the superintendent role in the next five years and support for school districts to become more culturally responsive and to diversify their educator workforce.
“I was proud to be part of the design team for Influence 100, and I believe the pilot will help broaden the pipeline of future superintendents who are prepared for the job and who share a commitment to welcoming and nurturing all students and educators,” said Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents Executive Director Thomas Scott.
Specific goals of Influence 100 include:
- Over the next four years, 100 racially and ethnically diverse school leaders will engage as Influence 100 fellows in the leadership development programming.
- Over the next 10 years:
- The percentage of superintendents of color in Massachusetts will increase significantly, from 4 percent currently to 14 percent by 2029.
- 100 districts across the state will participate in Influence 100.
To be selected for Influence 100, district superintendents and school committees had to demonstrate a strong commitment to the program and its goals.
The 15 districts selected to be part of the first year of the Influence 100 pilot and the individuals those districts selected to participate are:
Athol-Royalston: Assistant Principal Julie Stanley
Boston: Chief Engagement Officer Monica Roberts and Elementary Superintendent Andrea Zayas
Cambridge: Assistant Superintendent Dr. Alexis Morgan and Principal Damon Smith
Framingham: Director of Grants and Title 1 Dr. Coretta T. McCarter
Holyoke: School Supervisor Dr. Tiffani Curtis and Chief of Finance and Operations Anthony Soto
Lawrence: Principals Ethel Cruz, Ada Ramos and Juan Rodriguez
Leominster: Principal Andres Vera
Malden: Principals Rafael Garcia and Abdel Sepulveda
Natick: Vice Principal and Director of English Learner Education Christy Arnold and Communications Director Christina Maryland
Revere: Principal Dr. Percy Napier
Salem: Assistant Superintendent Kate Carbone and Principals Ruben Carmona and Jose Muñoz
Somerville: Director for Equity and Excellence Jessica Boston Davis and Director of Communications and Grants Susana H. Morgan
Springfield: Assistant Superintendent Lydia Martinez-Alvarez and Chief Information and Accountability Officer Paul Foster
Waltham: Assistant Director of Special Education Dr. Jannell Pearson-Campbell
Weston: Principal Anthony Parker
Influence 100 will be directed by Dr. Stacy Leigh Scott, a long-time educator and former Framingham superintendent with a wealth of experience in developing leaders who promote equity.
The department is partnering with New York City Leadership Academy on the leadership development program for fellows. The academy builds the capacity of educational leaders to confront inequities and create the conditions necessary for all students to thrive.
For the second cohort of InSPIRED fellows, DESE selected the following individuals, grouped below by the city or town where their school is located:
Barnstable: Brandon Byrd (Barnstable United Elementary)
Boston: Shakeeda Bartee (UP Academy Charter of Boston), Stephanie Byrd (Ellis Mendell Elementary), Ashley Clerge (UP Academy Holland), Adrienne De Vaughn (Boston Latin Academy), Shauntell Dunbar (Young Achievers), Natasha Gordon (Henry Grew), Nikisha Gordon (Charlestown High’s Diploma Plus Program), Mandy Lam (Josiah Quincy Upper), Chastity Mathurin (Boston Preparatory Charter Public), Nathalie Pacas Del Cid (Excel Academy Charter) and Lea Serena (Mather)
Brockton: Soraya Présumé (Mary E. Baker) and Carlito Weaver (Brockton High)
Holyoke: Lorie Banks (Lt. Clayre Sullivan School) and Janaya Little (Veritas Prep Holyoke)
Lawrence: Andreina Croes (Lawrence Family Development Charter) and Euclides Pichardo (Lawrence High, International)
New Bedford: Takeru Nagayoshi (New Bedford High)
Randolph: Jasmin DiRusso (Martin E. Young), Diallo Ferguson (Elizabeth G. Lyons Elementary), Atiera Horne (Randolph Community Middle), Taylor Huynh-Thai (Margaret L. Donovan) and Anthony Price (Randolph High)
Revere: Veronica Wheaton (Staff Sgt. James J. Hill Elementary)
Springfield: Sashoy Bailey (Chestnut Talented and Gifted Middle), Tori Brown-Carter (Washington), Janelle Clarke (Chestnut Talented and Gifted Middle), Gabrielle Jackson (Chestnut Talented and Gifted Middle), Phelipe Johnson (Springfield Preparatory Charter Public), Tasha Jones (Duggan Academy), Latrenda McMillian (Rebecca M. Johnson Elementary), Melvin Murry (Duggan Academy), Olga Ramos-Salcedo (Springfield High School of Science and Technology), Desiree Robinson (Indian Orchard Elementary) and Alicia Thomas (Edward P. Boland Elementary)
Taunton: Gloria Palmer and Maureen Farias (both from Taunton High)
Worcester: Celeste Reyes (Worcester East Middle)
Article submitted by the Department of Education