July 29, 2022
Dear SPS Families and Staff,
On Tuesday evening, the School Committee unanimously approved our proposed transition plan for the upcoming school year. As part of that plan, the School Committee voted to appoint Dr. Jeff Curley as the Interim Superintendent for 2022-23 effective September 23rd when I finalize my transition to Boston Public Schools. Jeff will serve as Acting Superintendent of SPS effective immediately as I gradually transition out of SPS and into BPS. I’ve worked closely with Jeff for the last five years, and he has my full confidence leading our amazing team.
I also have confidence in all of our school and central office leaders to make this transition an opportunity for growth and renewal. Each member of the team contributes to the success of our district. One of the things I am most proud of is our team’s ability and eagerness to work collaboratively in support of our students, staff, and our families.
In planning for this transition, we were committed to leveraging the talent and experience of members of our team to better serve our students, families and staff. On my team’s recommendation, the school committee has approved the following plan for reorganizing our central office structure with the intent to strengthen SPS, especially for the upcoming year:
Interim Superintendent of Schools - Dr. Jeff Curley: Dr. Curley has five years of experience in SPS including the last four as Chief of Staff. He led the district’s response to COVID-19 mitigation over the last two years and also led the expansion of district-wide afterschool access through strategic partnerships. Dr. Curley serves on the Somerville Children’s Cabinet, is co-founder and Board Member of iCivics, and is the father of two SPS students.
- District’s Educational Leader
- School Committee Liaison
- Financial & Organizational Management
- Communications & Community Building
Interim Chief of Staff & Strategy - Susana Hernandez Morgan (currently Chief Communications & Development Officer): Ms. Hernandez Morgan has been with SPS for 11 years, overseeing communications, grant writing/program development, and funding development/partnerships. She is an Influence 100 fellow, helped lead the visioning process and development of the educational plan for the SHS building project, serves on the Somerville Children’s Cabinet and on the SPS Diversity Network, and is a BU Wheelock Educational Leadership and Policy Studies EdD candidate (May ‘23). Ms. Hernandez Morgan has more than 30 years experience in education and private industry public relations, funding and program development, community outreach, operations, and project/event management.
- District’s Organizational & Strategic Leader
- Liaison to Other City Departments
- Program Development & Support
- Partnership Development & Cultivation
Interim Assistant Superintendent, Academics - Dr. Jessica Boston Davis: Dr. Davis has been with SPS for four years, including the last three as the district’s first Director for Equity and Excellence. She created and oversaw the SPS Advancing Equity Task Force, School Based Equity Specialists, School Equity Teams, and the Student Advisory Council. She is a member of Influence 100 and the SPS Diversity Network. She is a former founding principal of a turnaround school, has taught in New Jersey, New York, and Georgia (preservice), and has been a school leadership and instructional coach in South Africa. She is an Adjunct Professor at Lesley University and has also taught at Harvard College and Relay GSE.
- District’s Academic Leader
- Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
- pre-K through College and Career Academic Vision
- Equity Centered in the Academic Core
Interim Assistant Superintendent, Operations - Chad Mazza: Mr. Mazza has been at SPS for 10 years, including the last three as Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment, and seven years as Principal of the Winter Hill Community Innovation School. He is a member of the MA Department of Education’s Panel Review and Fact Finding Teams, and was instrumental in restructuring the District Instructional Leadership Team (DILT) to include educational leaders from each school to elevate educator voice. He has been in education for 27 years.
- District’s Operational Leader
- Instructional Leadership Support
- Development and Facilities Support
- Strategic Planning
Interim Chief Personnel Officer - Karen Woods: Ms. Woods has been in SPS for 17 years including the last six as the district’s first Director for Educator Development. She is a former Science Department Chair and Science Teacher at SHS. Ms. Woods led the development of the SPS Educator Leadership Model, is a member of the SPS Diversity Network, and is the SPS representative on the BU Wheelock College of Education Consortium. She is a former guest professor of education at BU.
- District’s Personnel Leader
- Strategic Leader of Human Capital
- Human Resources
- Educator Development
My last day as Superintendent of the Somerville Public Schools is Friday, September 23rd. From now until then I will be working with Jeff and the team to ensure a smooth and successful opening to the school year. I am excited for the work ahead and incredibly grateful for the commitment of the entire district leadership team to make Somerville Public Schools an exceptional place for every student and staff member.
As is customary, we will be updating the community about the start of the 2022-23 school year, and look forward to an outstanding year. The School Committee is developing a plan for an inclusive and comprehensive search process for the next Superintendent of Somerville Public Schools, and will share that information early this fall.