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UPDATE: Lupini resigns, interim superintendent of schools selected

Haley Bayne, News Writing Editor

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Superintendent Bill Lupini and Headmaster Deb Holman speak outside Schluntz Gym in 2014. PHOTO BY JEREMY MARGOLIS.
Superintendent Bill Lupini and Headmaster Deb Holman speak outside Schluntz Gym in 2014. PHOTO BY JEREMY MARGOLIS.

Following an announcement that he had accepted the position of Interim Superintendent at the Essex Technical High School District in Hathorne, Massachusetts two weeks ago, superintendent of schools Dr. Bill Lupini announced his official resignation today.

In a separate email, members of the Brookline School Committee announced that they have appointed Dr. Joe Connelly as “Acting Interim Superintendent of Schools,” effective immediately.

Lupini, who has been superintendent of the Brookline Public Schools for the past 11 years, said in an email to Brookline staff that his last day as superintendent will be on Friday, Oct. 30.

According to the School Committee, Connelly will become Acting Interim Superintendent at the start of November 2015 and will continue until the committee appoints an Interim Superintendent, which they hope to do within the next two or three weeks. The Interim Superintendent will serve through July 2016, at which point they hope to have hired a permanent superintendent. According to the School Committee, Connelly will not be a candidate for the permanent superintendent role.

Connelly was formerly leader of the Runkle and Devotion Schools and is currently a leader of the Devotion Building Committee project. He has also worked as a Superintendent of Schools, a Town Manager, and an educational leader outside of Brookline.

Moving forward, the School Committee said that they have plans to keep staff, families, and residents updated on the process of finding a permanent Superintendent through the launch of a new webpage. They want not only for the Brookline community to be updated on the process of selecting from a wide variety of candidates, but also have a say in it.

“This process will include hiring a search firm that would identify a national pool of diverse candidates, and will include an approach to including staff, family, and community input in the search process,” the email from the School Committee to Brookline staff read.

In the email, the School Committee said that they want the process to be as seamless as possible and that their first priority remains the students. In addition, the Committee said they are thankful for the years of dedication Lupini has given the Brookline school system.
“Bill has spent countless early mornings and long days serving the children and families of Brookline, and we are very grateful for his 11 years of dedication,” they wrote. “We congratulate him and wish him the very best in his new role.”

Below is the email Lupini sent announcing his resignation.

Dear Colleagues:
Last evening I sent the attached letter of resignation to School Committee members.  My last day as Superintendent of The Public Schools of Brookline will be on Friday, October 30, 2015, although I will be taking the weeks of October 19th and 26th as vacation.
I hope that I will have the opportunity in the coming weeks to see many of you so that I can express my appreciation for the work that we have been able to do together here in Brookline.
Best,
Bill
Below is the email sent by the Brookline School Committee describing the response and following steps.
Dear Staff:
Last night, Dr. Lupini informed the School Committee that he is resigning his position as Superintendent of Schools in Brookline. Bill has spent countless early mornings and long days serving the children and families of Brookline, and we are very grateful for his 11 years of dedication. We congratulate him and wish him the very best in his new role.
We will be developing and communicating a specific Superintendent transition timeline in the coming days. This morning, the School Committee had its fourth discussion in open session regarding the transition process. The School Committee reiterated our four criteria for an Interim Superintendent: 1) experience as a Superintendent; 2) ability to dive in on Day 1 to lead our schools and move our long-term initiatives forward; 3) deep knowledge of the current short- and long-term initiatives in Brookline; and 4) someone who will not be a candidate for the permanent Superintendent role.
After discussion, we appointed Dr. Joe Connelly as “Acting Interim Superintendent of Schools,” effective immediately. We are also beginning a process to post and name an “Interim Superintendent” within the next two to three weeks, to serve until July 2016. Many of you know Dr. Connelly as the former leader of the Runkle and Devotion Schools and a current leader on the Devotion Building Committee project. Outside of Brookline, he is a former Superintendent of Schools, a former Town Manager, and a highly-respected educational leader throughout Massachusetts. The School Committee believes that by appointing Dr. Connelly now, we will ensure a meaningful overlap with Dr. Lupini, and a seamless, orderly transition of leadership for students, families, and staff.
The School Committee also discussed two other items this morning. First, we discussed plans to immediately launch a search for a permanent Superintendent, with a target hire date of July 1, 2016. Beginning a process now places Brookline on a similar schedule to other peer school districts seeking Superintendents. This process will include hiring a search firm that would identify a national pool of diverse candidates, and will include an approach to including staff, family, and community input in the search process. The search will be discussed in more detail at our next School Committee meeting on October 8th. Second, we discussed the need for ongoing communications on this topic. We are committed to a smooth, transparent, and timely search process. We will soon be launching a new webpage and a way for staff, families, and residents to sign up for email updates on the process.
Our first priority, as always, is our students. The critically-important short-term and long-term work of the district continues, and the School Committee remains committed to our existing priorities. Specifically, we are very cognizant of how much work is required to create the outstanding educational environment we offer our students, and we are immensely grateful to our outstanding educational leaders and teachers who are moving forward with tremendous energy and focus on the students.
Susan Wolf Ditkoff, Chairman
Barbara Scotto, Vice Chairman
Brookline School Committee

Previous coverage can be found here and here.

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UPDATE: Lupini resigns, interim superintendent of schools selected