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 Board of Aldermen 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 Aldermanic 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: Paula O'Sullivan (Chair), Emily Ackman (Vice Chair) and Laura Pitone
- Finance and Facilities: Andre Green (Chair) and Paula O'Sullivan
- Rules Management: Lee Palmer (Chair), Laura Pitone (Vice Chair) and Dan Futrell
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:
- By All Means Community Cabinet: Carrie Normand and Laura Pitone
- By All Means Personalized Learning Subcommittee: Emily Ackman
- Master Planning Committee: Laura Pitone
- Somerville High School Building Committee: Laura Pitone
- Central Campus Parking Committee: Andre Green
- Somerville/Tufts University PILOT Committee: Andre Green
- Sick Bank Joint Study: Andre Green
- Wellness Committee: Lee Erica Palmer
- Shore Educational Collaborative Board Member and Vice Chair: Carrie Normand
- School Committee Orientation and Procedures Development: Emily Ackman
- School Committee Office Hours Coordinator: Emily Ackman
- Equity Initiative Student Enrollment System Chair: Laura Pitone
- Equity Initiative Weighted Student Formula Chair: Andre Green
- Equity Initiative Human Capital Chair: Carrie Normand
School Committee Members
Carrie Normand, Ward 7: Chair of School Committee, BAM/Community Cabinet, Shore Educational Collaborative Vice Chair, Equity Initiative Human Capital Chair
(617) 623-0321, 25 Kingston Street, Somerville MA 02144; firstname.lastname@example.org
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: Vice Chair of School Committee, BAM Personalized Learning, School Committee Orientation and Procedures, Education Programs Vice Chair, Personnel Subcommittee Chair, 2019 School Committee Office Hours Coordinator
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: Finance & Facilities Subcommittee
(617) 852-8562, 7 Waldo Ave. #1, Somerville MA 02143, email@example.com
Ilana Krepchin 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.
Lee Erica Palmer, Ward 3: Chair of the Rules Management Subcommittee, Wellness Committee
(781) 330-1740, 17 Pitman Street, Somerville MA 02145, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee Erica Palmer has been serving as the Ward 3 representative since January of 2016. Lee is an educator, community organizer, and legal services attorney who has lived in Somerville’s Spring Hill neighborhood since 2004. Lee’s school-aged son, Andrew, was born in Somerville and Lee chose to raise her son in Somerville because of its strong sense of community, as well as the rich cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity Somerville offers families. In her role as an educator, Lee taught high school Spanish in the Boston Public Schools. Additionally, she has worked with the district's Somerville Family Learning Collaborative department as the coordinator for the 2014 Early Childhood Literacy Fair and the 2015 Summer Camp and Activities Fair. Lee graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (dual major in Political Science and Spanish Language) from the University of Michigan in 2001, earned her Master’s degree in Labor Studies from the University of Massachusetts in 2003, and received her Juris Doctor from the Northeastern University of School of Law in 2011.
Andre L. Green, Ward 4: Finance Committee Vice Chair, Equity Initiative Weighted Student Formula Chair, Somerville/Tufts PILOT Negotiating Team, Central Campus Parking Committee, Sick Bank Joint Study
(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 4 year old daughter Madelynn, a pre-schooler at the Elizabeth Peabody House.
Laura Pitone, Ward 5: Rules Vice Chair, Ed Program, SHS Building Committee, Equity Initiative Student Assignment Chair, BAM/Community Cabinet, Master Planning Committee
(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.
Paula G. O'Sullivan, Ward 6: Chair of the Educational Programs and Instruction Subcommittee, Finance Committee
(617) 804-1323, 10 Morrison Place, Somerville MA 02144, email@example.com
Paula G. O'Sullivan has been a School Committee member since January 2017. Paula has worked with Teach for America, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and Arlington Public Schools. She also served on several school and city committees. Ms. O'Sullivan has lived in Somerville since 2002 and has three children in district schools. She has a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a Masters from Stanford University.
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.
Katjana Ballantyne, President, Somerville City Council
(617) 440-4433, 49 Russell Rd, Somerville MA 02144, 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 following an outstanding career at Boston Public Schools (BPS). Most recently, she was Network Superintendent of High Schools for BPS, where she oversaw BPS' 34 high schools serving approximately 19,500 students. Under her leadership 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. During her tenure as TBA Headmaster, the Academy 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. President Obama visited TBA in March 2011 to recognize TBA’s achievement. Additional roles Superintendent Skipper held at BPS included Assistant Academic Superintendent for Pilot Schools, and Director of Technology within the Office of Instructional Technology.
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. She is currently working toward her Doctorate in Urban Education Leadership from Columbia Teachers College.
Superintendent Skipper and her husband Peter, a teacher at BC High School, have three children: Kassie, a teacher in Denver; 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.