Driscoll gets a new principal as the district looks to the lawrence search – news – brookline tab – brookline, ma level 6 education

Driscoll school officially has a new principal. On march 20, superintendent andrew bott announced interim principal dr. Sujan “suzie” talukdar would assume the role of principal. “dr. Talukdar has developed a positive and welcoming school culture and has earned the trust and confidence of staff, students, and families,” bott said in a letter sent to families. Talukdar replaces former driscoll principal heidi cook who announced in may 2017 she would be leaving the school at the end of the 2016-2017 school year for a principal position in cambridge. After launching her career teaching 6th grade social studies at the day middle school in newton, talukdar’s work experience has included the director of the intercultural center at brandeis university, a graduate-level course instructor and consultant for the EDCO collaborative in bedford and a consultant and instructor for the leadership licensure program for teachers21.Parents teachers

talukdar holds a bachelor of arts degree in sociology from brandeis university, a master of arts in teaching from boston university, and a doctor of education degree in educational administration from boston college. “throughout her years in brookline, dr. Talukdar has established a strong reputation for her ability to collaborate closely and effectively with central office staff, principals, curriculum and program coordinators, teachers, paraprofessionals, and families in support of student growth and development,” bott said in the letter. The driscoll position is the first of three vacant principal positions to be filled at brookline elementary schools. Interim principal at pierce, lesley ryan-miller is the second of two interim principals for the school after longtime pierce principal pipier smith-mumford retired at the end of the school year in 2016.Bott said in february, lawrence principal alysson hart submitted her resignation effective at the end of the current school year. The 2017-2018 school year was hart’s first as lawrence’s principal. She had replaced warren blair who had also served as lawrence’s principal for only one year, having replaced rick roger who left following the 2015-2016 school year. According to a letter to families from superintendent andrew bott, hart is leaving for personal and family reasons. Bott is expected to announce the permanent principal for pierce in the coming days. The principal search process for many parents, the process the district uses to find principals has been a point of confusion. Though the district policy outlines multiple rounds of interviews, site visits for candidates and public interviews, the process can change school by school and search by search. For parent mike offner, the public interviews are important because they allow for more transparency and buy-in from parents and teachers who are able to have their thoughts heard.School year the high principal turnover in the past few years has brought this policy into question, as some parents feel as though the district has not adequately included parents and teachers in the process. “when a principal works out no one really cares what the process was, but there were problems,” said offner. The public Q&A sessions held for the recent driscoll and pierce searches was a marked improvement in including parents and teachers in the search process, according to offner. Finding a new principal for lawrence school hart’s resignation is another change at lawrence for the third year in a row, leaving bott and school administrators faced with the challenge of helping the lawrence community through yet another transition. For bott, the first step is to determine which is best for the school – to appoint an interim principal for the next school year and go through a full search process, or to start the search process now and have a permanent principal in place for the start of the 2018-2019 school year.Bott said while appointing an interim principal would allow for a longer search process in a time that usually yields more candidates – according to bott late november to early march is the best time for hiring – it would also mean subjecting lawrence to an additional transition, from hart to interim and from interim to permanent. Starting a search process now, though shorter and not in the easiest time for finding candidate, would spare lawrence an additional transition. “it is critically important to me personally that stability return to the school,” bott said. Lawrence parent danna perry said she hopes the district will follow the existing search policy, which "among other things, also ensures that teacher voice is integrated into the process." rachel goldman, another lawrence parent, agreed that lawrence needs a stabilizing force but noted that the existing search process and public input was important in finding someone who fits with the values and vision of the school.Parents teachers “I think right now what all of the schools need is strong leadership,” said goldman. “I think there’s something really valuable in getting feedback. “