On a warm summer evening last Monday inside the Bremen Street Park, new Boston Public School Superintendent Brenda Cassellius held a special meet-and-greet with BPS families and the general public.
The event was hosted by the Superintendent’s Office, the East Boston Ecumenical Community Council (EBECC) and BPS’s Department of Engagement.
The ‘Meet and Greet’ was a chance for all members of the Eastie community to meet Cassellius as she starts her first year as BPS’s Superintedent.
The event was an open opportunity for community members to converse with Cassellius over the state and future of the public schools in Eastie.
EBECC promoted the ‘Meet and Greet’ beforehand, including a comment drive conducted by both the members of EBECC’s Parents’ Committee as well as the high school students enrolled in EBECC’s ‘Aspiring’ program.
Prior to the event these parents and students spoke to their peers to identify the most common and pressing concerns facing the members of the public school community in Eastie and assure them that they reach the Superintendent.
At the event Cassellius reserved time during the two hours to address some of these comments, as well as share her own values and plans for BPS. The rest of the event was then open opportunity for anyone passing through Bremen Street Park to approach, meet, and briefly share any thoughts with Cassellius.
“The event also gave members of the Eastie community – parents and students in particular – the chance to get to know the new Superintendent in person, listen to the plans she has for BPS, and understand her values,” said BPS in a statement. “At the same time, the event allowed these parents and students the chance to voice their existing concerns about the schools in Eastie and their experiences around those concerns to the new head of the entire school system. In short, the goal and expected benefit of the East Boston ‘Meet and Greet’ is to foster a mutual understanding of the challenges facing BPS and a mutual growth in facing those challenges.”
In May, Cassellius was named BPS Superintendent following a nationwide search to replace Tommy Chang.
Cassellius was Commissioner of Education for the state of Minnesota and topped two other finalists for the job that included Dr. Oscar Santos, Head of School for Cathedral 7-12 High School in Boston; and Marie Izquierdo, Chief Academic Officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Florida. In Minnesotta Cassellius enacted comprehensive education reforms, including historic new funding for schools, enactment of all-day kindergarten, state-funded preschool for 25,000 children, and has overseen historically high graduation rates. She has also served on the board of directors for the Council for Chief State School Officers, and contributed to the development of “10 Equity Commitments,” which education chiefs across the country worked to adopt to further equity goals and outcomes.