Boston Public Schools Interim Superintendent and former President and CEO of EdVestors Laura Perille spent the first day of school last Thursday in East Boston.
Perille started her day at the annual Countdown to Kindergarten Parade hosted by East Boston Main Streets and the city, then headed over to the Samuel Adams Elementary School with Mayor Martin Walsh.
At the school, Perille and Walsh got a tour of the school’s My Way Cafe. The Adams is the latest school to receive a new kitchen as part of the pilot program that Mayor Walsh called a ‘game changer.’
Last year Walsh expanded the program to other schools in Eastie and elsewhere in the city. The pilot program used what is called the ‘Hub and Spoke’ model. This model utilized East Boston High School’s already-constructed, in-service kitchens to prep food for nearby schools in Eastie that did not have such kitchens. Through a partnership with the Shah Family Foundation Adams students will be enjoying freshly prepared lunches like Baja fish tacos, BBQ chicken, freshly cooked veggies and salads throughout the school year with the help of renowned Chef Ken Oringer.
Perille and the Mayor then toured classrooms and talked with staff and students.
Following the tour of the Adams Perille headed to the James Otis Elementary School to do a bit of the same.
“What’s amazing about East Boston is the community spirit that shines through to our schools. All of our schools in East Boston do an amazing job of engaging with families and people of all backgrounds and cultures who live in the community,” said Perille following the tours. “School performance continues to improve in East Boston because everyone in the community comes together to make sure our students succeed.”
Perille added that she had a “wonderful time” meeting with families at the Countdown to Kindergarten Parade in East Boston, and during herschool visits, on the first day of school.
“I look forward to meeting and engaging with families in East Boston and the entire City of Boston more in the coming school year,” said Perille.
Perille was announced as interim BPS Superintendent following the resignations of Tommy Chang this summer.
As President and CEO of EdVestors, a school improvement nonprofit with the mission of increasing the number of schools in Boston delivering dramatically is improved educational outcomes for all students, Perille helped raise and direct more than $26 million in funds for urban school improvement.
“There is no higher priority for us than the education of our students, and that is why it is so important to find the right person to continue moving our schools and our students forward during this transition,” said Mayor Walsh at the time of her appointment. “I am confident that we have found that person in Laura Perille. Laura has a proven record of being a strong partner and advocate for Boston’s school system, has made significant gains in closing the opportunity and achievement gaps for students and is a proud BPS parent. I am proud to welcome her on board, and look forward to our work ahead to continue putting students on a pathway to success.”
Perille has served on a number of civic committees appointed by the Mayor or School Committee in Boston, including the External Advisory Committee on School Choice (2012-13) charged with redesigning Boston’s student assignment system; the Education Transition Team for Mayor Walsh (2013-14); and the Superintendent Search Committee (2014-15) for Boston Public Schools. In 2016, Laura was presented with the national Arts Education Award from Americans for the Arts (AFTA) and was recently named to the Wales Education Commission and as an Honorary Professor of Practice at the University of Wales-Trinity Saint David.
Prior to EdVestors, Perille led Perille Consulting Group, and previously served as Director of Education for Crittenton Hastings House, Policy Analyst for Community Catalyst/Families USA, and Director of Programs for the Greater Boston Food Bank.
A graduate of Brown University, she and her family live in Boston, where her children attended and graduated from the Boston Public Schools.