Somerville School Committee
The School Committee is an elected body that oversees the Somerville Public Schools. Members work with the Superintendent to set broad policies and educational goals, develop a recommended budget for submission to the Mayor, and provide fiscal oversight of the School Department. The Committee is composed of seven members elected by ward every two years (on the odd years). The Mayor and the City Council President are ex-officio members with full voting rights. The School Committee has regular meetings the first and third Monday of every month during the school year (September through June). Meetings, held in the City Council Chambers at Somerville City Hall located at 93 Highland Avenue in Somerville, are open to the public, with the exception of Executive Session meetings. Public meetings are broadcast live on Somerville Cable Channel 16.
Subcommittees of the Somerville School Committee are where much of business associated with overseeing the Somerville Public Schools happens. There are three subcommittees of the School Committee composed of the following members:
- Education Programs and Instruction: Sarah Phillips (Chair), Laura Pitone (Vice Chair) and Ellenor Barish
- Finance and Facilities: Ilana Krepchin (Chair), Carrie Normand (Vice Chair) and Sarah Phillips
- Rules Management: Ellenor Barish (Chair), Emily Ackman (Vice Chair) and Ilana Krepchin
In addition, the Committee for Long Range Planning is a Standing Committee of the Whole. It is chaired by the Chair of the School Committee.
Subcommittee Meetings and Subcommittee Meetings of the Whole are usually hosted in the Somerville Public Schools Central Office located at 8 Bonair Street. Members of the public are welcome to attend these meetings. To request meeting handout and materials, please contact Jeff Curley. Agendas, Weekly Calls, and Minutes for Regular and Subcommittee meetings are available online under "School Committee Meetings" in the menu to the right.
School Committee representatives also serve on the following committees/initiatives:
- Children's Cabinet: Carrie Normand and Laura Pitone
- Somerville High School Building Committee: Laura Pitone
- Shore Educational Collaborative: Carrie Normand
- Sick Bank: Emily Ackman
- Food Security: Ellenor Barrish
- Out of School Time: Sarah Phillips
- Wellness Committee: Ellenor Barrish
- Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS): Andre Green
- Tufts PILOT: Andrew Green
- Human Capital Task Force: Chair Carrie Normand
- Student Enrollment/Assignment Task Force: Chair Laura Pitone
- Weighted Student Formula Task Force: Chair Andre Green
School Committee Members
Carrie Normand, Ward 7: Finance and Facilities Vice Chair, Children's Cabinet, Shore Educational Collaborative, Human Capital Task Force Chair
(617) 623-0321, 25 Kingston Street, Somerville MA 02144; email@example.com
Carrie Normand has represented Ward 7 on the School Committee since 2014. Carrie's experience as an active Somerville community member and youth advocate include serving as the Healey School Improvement Council co-Chair, and active membership in the PTA and the Somerville Special Education Parent Advisory Council. She has worked with Somerville Public Schools students as a literacy and math tutor. Carrie's local community work also included being a Somerville Special Education Advocacy Project Fellow for Massachusetts Advocates for Children, she extended her advocacy work to the state level. Carrie has lived in Somerville for more than 20 years with her husband, David Zraket. They have two boys attending the Somerville Public Schools.
Emily Ackman, Ward 1: Rules Subcommittee Vice Chair, Sick Bank Joint Task Force
Emily Ackman started representing Ward 1 in January 2018. She is a proud K-12 public school graduate and has spent her career dedicated to education. She holds two masters degrees and a Ph.D. in Education Policy. Emily is trained as a Montessori educator and worked as a preschool teacher in Athens, Georgia, and then an elementary teacher in New York City. She has influenced state-level education policy in Arizona, Massachusetts, and North Carolina. Her research expertise is focused on the intersection of education and politics. Emily lives in East Somerville with her partner, Jonah (who was also her senior prom date!), and their two kids TJ & Ruby. She is a proud graduate of UMass, Amherst. In addition to serving Ward 1 as the representative to the School Committee, she is also on the Board of East Somerville Main Streets.
Ilana Krepchin, Ward 2: Vice Chair of School Committee, Finance & Facilities Subcommittee Chair, Rules Management
(617) 852-8562, 7 Waldo Ave. #1, Somerville MA 02143, Ikrepchin@k12.somerville.ma.us
Ilana Krepchin has been a member of the Somerville School Committee since 2019. She has lived in Somerville for over 20 years, 13 of those in ward 2. She lives with her 11 year old daughter, Molly, her husband Rich, and their cat, Panda. Molly went to Pre-k at the Capuano and has been a student at the Argenziano since Kindergarten. Rich is a long-time nurse at Boston Medical Center and an avid city and long-distance cyclist. Ilana is a jeweler and teaches jewelry making and runs the jewelry studio at the Artisan’s Asylum (also in ward 2).
Before joining the School Committee, Ilana was the President of the Argenziano School PTA, where she worked extensively to enhance and improve the student experience at the Argenziano. She has seen firsthand how change is made - what works and what doesn't - and how best to coordinate the efforts of teachers, parents and school administrators. She is committed to the continued improvement of our schools and to finding consensus among all stake holders.
Sarah Phillips, Ward 3: Education Programs and Instruction Subcommittee Chair, Finance and Facilities, Out of School Time Committee
(617) 863-0826, 19R Prospect Hill Ave #2, Somerville MA 02143, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Phillips has spent over 20 years working to improve public education as an educator, social worker, and activist. Highlights from her work as a practitioner include: teaching English as a Second Language in the Oakland public schools, improving afterschool program quality with cities and counties across the country, and forcing the Chicago Transit Authority to expand subway service through three low-income communities of color. Since receiving a PhD in 2013, Sarah has researched the school and out-of-school contexts that promote healthy development. She is an expert in student engagement, school climate, and social and emotional learning. Sarah has lived in Somerville since 2009. She was a leader in Progress Together for Somerville Schools and, most recently, a member of the Argenziano School Improvement Council. Sarah is married to Josh Rosenstock and the proud mother of three children. She was elected to the School Committee in November 2019.
Andre L. Green, Ward 4: Chair of School Committee, Weighted Student Formula Task Force Chair, Somerville/Tufts PILOT Negotiating Team, CAAS
(617) 201-9512, 88 Governor Winthrop Road, Somerville MA 02145, email@example.com
Andre L. Green has represented Ward 4 on the School Committee since January 2016. Andre has 15 years of experience covering education policy, data analysis, technology, and advocacy. A 14 year resident of Somerville, Andre was raised by a single mom and is the first person in his family to get a Bachelor's Degree. He currently lives in Ten Hills with his wife Jessica and daughter Madelynn.
Laura Pitone, Ward 5: Education Programs and Instruction Subcommittee Vice Chair, Children's Cabinet, SHS Building Committee, Student Enrollment/Assignment Task Force Chair
(617) 776-6035, 46 Rogers Ave., Somerville MA 02144, firstname.lastname@example.org
Laura Pitone has represented Ward 5 on the School Committee since 2014. Laura originally moved to the area to attend college and quickly found herself drawn to Somerville's "diversity and small-scale urban environment." She has been a Somerville resident for 12 years. Laura's experience in data analysis, team-building, and budget management, along with her commitment to participatory leadership, have helped her excel in industry and community work. She earned an engineering degree from MIT and a business degree from Babson College, and has worked as a manufacturing engineer and information technology consultant. She was a member of the Healey School Improvement Council for three years, where her leadership, communication, and team-building skills helped ensure the successful redesign of two distinct programs at the school into a unified program. Laura has also served on the Somerville City and Schools Children and Youth Study Team, and the Somerville Special Education Parent Advisory Committee (SPED-PAC). Laura and her husband, Tom Cole, have two children enrolled at the Healey School.
Ellenor Barish, Ward 6: Rules Subcommittee Chair, Educational Programs, Food Security Committee, Wellness Committee
(646) 337-8840, 6 Henry Ave, Somerville MA 02144, email@example.com
Ellenor Emery Barish has lived in Somerville with her spouse Mike since 2004. Ellenor and Mike’s three children attend public school in Somerville. Over the past decade, Ellenor has been an active volunteer with various local organizations including Shape Up Somerville, Somerville Youth Soccer, and the Brown School PTA. Ellenor is a Registered Dietitian and she has a bachelor’s degree in Art History and Italian. She has been a School Committee member since January 2020.
Honorable Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone
(617) 776-5159 or (617) 625-6600 x2100, 130 Ten Hills Road, Somerville MA 02145
Joe Curtatone has been Mayor of Somerville since 2003. Prior to that, he served as a member of the Board of Aldermen. Learn more about Mayor Curtatone on the City of Somerville website.
Matthew McLaughlin, President, Somerville City Council
(617) 999-0924, 28 Mt. Vernon St. #2, Somerville MA 02145, firstname.lastname@example.org
Superintendent Mary E. Skipper, Secretary to the School Committee
(617) 629-5200, 8 Bonair St, Somerville MA 02145, email@example.com
Mary Skipper joined the Somerville Public Schools as Superintendent in July of 2015. She joined the district in July of 2015 following an outstanding career at Boston Public Schools, and has made her mark in Somerville as an innovative and visionary thinker, a passionate advocate for all youth, and a strategic systems builder whose approach includes leveraging community resources to support students.
Under her tenure, Somerville has emerged as a leader in the use of data to inform continuous progress and to ensure a student-centered approach to teaching and learning. Her innovative approach to ensuring the support of the whole child has led to the development of “game-changing” resources, such as the district’s home-grown Student Insights data system which provides teachers with centralized student data and near real-time information of how students are doing and the supports and interventions students need to be successful in their classrooms. Superintendent Skipper’s commitment to equity of access and opportunity, coupled with her dedication to providing students with rich outside learning experiences has led to new and stronger partnerships that enhance the student learning experience outside the school day and the school walls. Under her guidance, Somerville has become known as a forward-thinking district that consistently ranks among the top urban districts in overall student growth, and a district that has seen a declining drop-out rate to a current all-time low of 1.2 at Somerville High School, along with an increasing four-year graduation rate to an all-time high of 87.9%.
Before coming to Somerville, Superintendent Skipper was Network Superintendent of High Schools for BPS, where she oversaw 34 high schools serving approximately 19,500 students. During her time as Network Superintendent, Boston High Schools achieved the lowest drop-out and the highest graduation rates in BPS history. Among her most notable accomplishments while at BPS, Superintendent Skipper helped launch TechBoston Academy (TBA) as the founding Headmaster in 2002. Under her leadership, TBA grew from a 9-12 high school serving 75 students, to a 6-12 school with a staff of more than 100 serving a diverse student population of more than 1,000, 30% of which were English Language Learners and 25% of which were Special Education students.
Superintendent Skipper holds a Bachelor's in English and Latin from Tufts University. She earned a Master's in Education Policy from Harvard and a Master's in Urban Education Leadership from Columbia Teachers College.
Superintendent Skipper and her husband Peter, a retired BC High School teacher, have three children: Kassie, a teacher in Denver Public Schools; Lani, who works in agricultural policy at the Vermont School of Law; and Peter, who works as a consultant at Deloitte in Washington, D.C. She is also the very proud grandmother of two beautiful grandchildren under the age of 2, Adela and Zana.