Superintendent finalist Andrew Bott meets with students


Brookline’s Superintendent Andrew Bott spent 14 years working the Boston Public Schools before moving to the Brookline Public Schools in 2014. Louie Goldsmith/Sagamore Staff

Louie Goldsmith, Opinions Editor

Superintendent finalist Andrew Bott visited the high school on Tuesday, Feb. 23, as the second of three finalists to visit the school. Bott held a D-block meeting with approximately 50 students where he asked students about their opinions regarding their high school experience and answered questions about his professional credentials and vision for the future of Brookline Public Schools.

Headmaster Deborah Holman introduced Bott, who has worked as Principal of the Lincoln School for a year and a half. Bott began the meeting by discussing his professional experience, which includes working in bilingual education in Houston, Texas and serving as the Principal of three schools in Boston before moving to the Lincoln School.

Bott then asked students about their views on what is good and bad at the high school. Bott listened to student responses ranging from a lack of school spirit to outdated computer languages in technology classes.

The discussion then moved to questions, which began with inquiries about the recent leadership changes in the school system. Bott said that though Brookline has had “an incredible amount of transition,” he would “make sure we don’t lose ground and keep working on good ideas.”

Bott said the fact he currently works in the Brookline Public Schools gives him an inside track in understanding the problems the new Superintendent will confront.

Bott said he would have a range of priorities as Superintendent including “rebuilding a climate in the school system where the voice of teachers is valued and the voices of students are involved,” and “doing a better job of making teachers in Brookline look like the student body.”

In response to questions about the increased population at the high school, Bott pledged that the “quality of education will be minimally impacted by the growth of the student body.” Bott also said that if chosen, he would like to be Superintendent for at least 10 years.

Bott ended the meeting by asking students to name positive things about the high school. Students responded by praising the student involvement, arts departments and diverse programs at the high school.

Bott’s visit was the second of three visits by Superintendent finalists during this week. Dr. Bernard Taylor visited the high school on Monday, Feb. 22, and Jon Sills will visit the high school on Wednesday, Feb. 24.