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(207) 650-4834


Received unanimous consent from School Board for a contract extension and new contract 2019
Achieved majority of voters consent on referendum for three consecutive budgets
Credited for implementing systems, structures, and metrics designed to create World Class school system in Portland, Maine

Achievements and Leadership in Education

Leadership in Public Engagement

Created multiple platforms and opportunities for

stakeholder voice and engagement including increased
social media presence, parent/student surveys,
Community Listening Campaigns, Town Hall Meetings,
Superintendent Book Club Meetings, Roundtable
Meetings, and community speaking engagements to
promote District.
Led unprecedented partnership with the business
community leading to increase collaboration, funding,
and support for District initiatives and founding member
of Portland ConnectED along with the Mayor and leaders
in higher education, private and public sectors to support
Portland Public School students from cradle to career.

Reform Policy Expert

Known as a Champion for Children effectively utilized

Fiscal Management and Resource Development


Curriculum and Instructional Leadership


Implemented aligned instructional system to increase

student outcomes centered on rigorous curriculum
aligned to standards, supported by researched based
professional development for teachers, and effective
leadership coaching for principals to support instructional
Broadened the curriculum scope to foster StudentCentered Learning by implementing 1:1 Laptop initiative,
single device solution for grades 6-12, expanded course
offerings to include STEM courses, online courses, and
virtual classrooms, new technology and extended
learning opportunities for students.

Methodically aligned the financial and human capital

resources to implement Districts Comprehensive Plan
Framework 2011-2016 and expanded private-public
Environmentally friendly Superintendent reformed and
re-fleeted transportation with natural gas vehicles,
increased the percentage of locally grown food and
vegetables served to students, and expanded
sustainability efforts through increased composting at

Visionary and Lead Strategist


Superintendent Portland Public Schools, ME

strategies to increase access and equity to rigorous

curricula for all students and accelerated achievement of
all student groups that produced 8% - 20% gains in
student achievement and improvement in lowestperforming schools.
Advanced policies and procedures based on research and
best practices to create a system of high expectations
and accountability, organizational and governance
structures, and metrics to define results.

Proven leadership that brings diverse communities and

stakeholder groups together in support of a shared vision
for District transformation and innovation necessary to
ensure all students are prepared for college, career, and
Designed system for continuous school improvement
model that included Autonomous Schools, Empowerment
Schools, and Renaissance Schools to turnaround and
restructure underperforming schools.
2012 Present

Respected by peers as one of the most effective Chief Executive Officer for the largest school district in the state of Maine
serving approximately 7,000 students preK-12 (60% White; 23% Black/African American; 5% Hispanic; 3% Asian) with (55%
qualifying for free/reduced lunch; 30% English Language Learners, speaking 60 different languages; 15% Special Education)
and over 4,000 Adult Education students supported by 1200 employees

Achieved outcomes by working with the Board to align financial and human capital resources to implement Districts
Comprehensive Plan Framework 2011-2016 with fidelity in full support of the Districts mission and vision for achieving
academic goals and performance indicators;

Designed systems to monitor curriculum, instruction, and assessments to increase student outcomes through the
implementation of new instructional programs aligned to the Common Core State Standards;

Leadership led to increase in student outcomes and closing of the opportunity gap including all students and student
groups demonsrating positive growth on district based assessments; improved student performance as measured by
District Scorecard demonstrating growth or achieving the target for over 60% of indicators; and decreased the number of

Successfully negotiated three collective bargaining agreements including a new teacher contract that extended the
student and teacher day, invests in professional development, and provides for a reasonable and afforadable increase in

compensation package;

Developed the organizational structure of the District to align academic and non-academic human capital to increase
student outcomes through implementation of a functional district organization chart; strategic recruitment, hiring, and
professional growth and development of district level employees, and increased capacity in the areas of family and
community engagement, school performance management, and data management and analysis;

Served as the primary facilitator and bridge builder by working with the Board to develop appropriate long and short
goals for buildings, operations, and maintenance programs including purchase of a new central office; leasing of a new
building to house the Adult Education program; finding a permanent site for the Districts day treatment program;
expansion of small high school; finalized plan and presented to City Council Finance Committee for the renovations of four
elementary schools;

Directed the annual preparation of an operating budget and multi-year budget that is based on the Board adopted
Comprehensive Plan Framework and facilitates the passage of the budget as part of the budget validation referendum,
and provides oversight for the implementation of the voter approved budget and all grants and federal monies in excess
of $100 million dollars including the preparation and presentation of the Fiscal Year 2014 and 2015 budget that was
approved by voters; and Fiscal Year 2016 that received unamious approval by the Portland Board of Public Education;

Leadership led to a decrease in expenditure increase from Fiscal Year 2013 to Fiscal Year 2016 and a precipitous decrease
in the tax rate during this same period, while investing in Districts Comprehensive Plan Framework, maintaining staffing
levels and class size, investing in key school level and district level positions, drivining innovation including foreign
language immersion program, world language, online and blended learning, 1:1 technology device initiative for secondary
school students, and investing in infrastructure;

Opened and maintained new lines of communication and working relationships with Board, internal stakeholders,
including regular meetings with union leadership; regular meetings with Portland state legislators and city elected
officials; bi weekly meetings with the Mayor and city manager; open door meeting with Board members and central office
employees; PTO/PTA meetings, community constituents including expanded presence on social media by launching
Twitter and Superintendents Blog; and monthly Superintendents column in local newspaper;

Assistant Superintendent School District of Philadelphia, PA

2009 2012

Assistant Superintendent for states largest district, serving approximately 167,000 students (80% minority; 80% qualifying for
Free/Reduced Lunch) and responsible for educational leadership and implementation of Imagine 2014, Districts Strategic Plan
across schools; support K-8 school-based leaders, including 36 principals and over 16,000 students (60% African American,
15% Hispanic, 15% Asian and 10% White, 13% English Language Learners, 15% Special Education) and budget over $60M

Reconfigured the central office to more effectively and efficiently support the improvement of teaching and learning to
increase Academic Excellence as measured by improved student outcomes and Equity as measured by increased life
options for all students;

Rebuilt the professional development workshops/trainings designed to build capacity and leadership for school based
leaders (principals and assistant principals) in the areas of Instructional Leadership; Effective Supervision and Evaluation;
and Organizational Management;

Implemented Weighted Student Funding for schools to create funding system where dollars are allocated based on
students characteristics;

Support the implementation of the Districts Initiatives to accelerated academic achievement and gains across of across
the Districts historically underperforming schools (Empowerment Schools); Leadership led to gains in 70% of schools in
Reading or math on the state assessment compared to the previous year; Executed Strategies that led to 50% of schools
with highest percentage of students demonstrating proficiency in Reading or math over the last four years and 50% of
school with the lowest percentage of students scoring Below Basic in Reading or math over the last four years;

Assist with implementation of Districts Facilities Master Plan designed to right size the District and reduce footprint by
reducing the number of empty seats by closing and/or adaptive reuse of schools with high facilities condition index and
low enrollment;

Assist with implementation of Districts Renaissance Schools Initiative designed to turnaround and restructure
underperforming schools through one of four strategies: Turnaround (replace principal and rehire no more than 50% of
the schools staff back; Restart (transfer, and/or close school and reopen under control of Charter organization);
Transformation (replace principal and no requirement for staff replacement); and Closure (close school);

Assistant Superintendent for High Schools East Baton Rouge Parish School System, LA

2008 2009

Leadership of the Office of High School Programs in states largest district, serving approximately 46,000 students (95%
minority; 90% qualifying for Free/Reduced Lunch) and responsible for educational leadership and vision setting for program
and school-based leaders, including 17 principals, 1,000 certified staff, and 12,000 students

Implementation of Pay for Performance Model to recruit and reward talented principals and teachers for underperforming high school; implementation of High School Redesign Initiative consisting of Ninth Grade Academies; and
designed strategies to decrease Dropout Rate and increase Graduation Rate using Credit Recovery System;
Demonstrated increase in students proficiency in state assessment in English Language Arts from previous year; 77% of
schools increased percent of students proficient on state assessment in mathematics from the previous year; and 92% of
schools increased percent of students proficient on state assessment in science and social studies respectively from
previous year (*data includes alternative schools);
Instituted dramatic increases in student performance in social studies by 4%; mathematics by 6% and science by 10% at
the 8 lowest performing schools (Intensive Schools) in the district from the previous year and leadership led to dramatic
gains of over 20 points in School Performance Score for lowest performing schools and schools with a history of underperformance made Adequate Yearly Progress for the first time;

Regional Director Chicago School Performance Group, IL

2007 2008

Served as educational leader for urban PreK-8 charter schools combined enrollment of approximately 1,000 students
(93% minority; and 90% qualifying for Free/Reduced Lunch), and providing educational leadership and vision for regional
and school based leaders and 120 certificated staff with an operating budget of $15 M, not including grant monies and
other funding streams;

Leadership Coach Chicago Public Schools, IL

Provided expertise to high school principals in an urban setting with a population of approximately 10,000 students (90%
minority; 90% qualifying for Free/Reduced Lunch) as part of the High School Transformation Project supported by $50M
from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, including monthly and individual meetings to provide leadership support;

High School Principal Christina School District, DE

2004 2007

Leadership of the second largest Comprehensive High School (Newark High School) in Delaware, serving a diverse
student population (40% students qualifying for Free/Reduced Lunch) and implemented 9th Grade Academies and Small
Learning Communities, including five Programs of Study, and Cambridge Program utilizing a District grant award of $1.2M
from the U.S. Department of Education;

Led increase in the number of traditional and non-traditional students participating in Advanced Placement courses
(African American and Hispanic students increased 400% and 300%, respectively, from 2003 to 2006, resulting in school
recognition in Newsweek Magazines Top 500 High Schools in 2006 and 2007);

Elementary Principal Penn Manor School District, PA

Leadership led to an increase in student performance in Grade 5 Reading by 20.4% and Grade 5 Mathematics by 7%
through alignment of assessments to classroom curriculum; piloted quarterly mathematics assessments in order to adjust
instruction and provide supplemental support services; and school earned distinction for Adequate Yearly Progress;

Dean of Students/Special Education Coordinator Newark Charter School, DE

2003 2004

2001 2002

Creation and development of innovative Charter School, with role focused on establishment of positive school climate and
culture for learning, transportation, finance, and facilities; achieved highest Math, Reading, and Writing scores in Grade 5
on the Delaware State Testing Program; designed Special Education Delivery Model resulting in 80% of Grade 5 Special
Education students meeting or exceeding Math standards on the Delaware State Testing Program;

National-Louis University, School of Education, Chicago, IL

Concentration in Educational Leadership, Doctorate in Progress, Winter 2015

University of Delaware, School of Education, Newark, DE

Master of Education, Concentration in Educational Leadership, May 2002

Bachelor of Science, Education, May 1996
Widener University, School of Law, Wilmington, DE

Doctor of Jurisprudence, May 2001

Teaching Experience
Adjunct Professor, University of Delaware, School of Education, DE
Special Education Teacher, (Grades 5-12), New Castle County Detention Center, DE

Legal Experience

Assistant Prosecutor, Salem County Prosecutors Office, NJ

Education Law Attorney, Schwartz, Simon, Edelstein, Celso, & Kessler LLP, NJ

2004 - 2006
1996 2001

2003 - 2002
2002 - 2002

Professional Training and Affiliations

National Superintendent Certification Program (School Superintendents Association), Harvards Principal Institute for Urban
School Leaders, Wallace Foundation Executive Training for School Leaders at Darden, Stupski Foundation Supervisors of
Principals Network Session, and International Center for Leadership in Education
Maine Superintendent Letter of Eligibility, Superintendent Letter of Eligibility Pennsylvania, Superintendent Endorsement
Maryland, Superintendent Endorsement Louisiana, School Leader II (Superintendent Endorsement) Delaware, Principal K-12
Professional Certificate Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Maryland, State of Delaware Standard Elementary Teaching Certificate
(Grades 1-8), Standard Teacher of Exceptional Children Certificate (Grades 1-12)
New England School Development Council (Board Member), Boys and Girls Club of Southern Maine (Board Member), United
Way of Greater Portland (Board Member), New Jersey State Bar, Addiction Coalition of Delaware (former Board Member),
Junior Achievement of Maine (Board Member), Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated, National Association of Secondary
School Principals, National Association of Elementary School Principals, Coalition of Essential Schools, Association for
Supervision and Curriculum Development, American Association of School Administrators
Media Relations (January 2014 - Present):

Fiscal Year 2016 Superintendents Budget Presentation

Superintendents Fiscal Year 2016 Budget

Superintendents Monthly Column March, 2015

Superintendents Lets Talk Portland

Superintendents Monthly Column in Forecaster Paper January, 2015

Superintendent on Inside Maine WGAN Vergara Decision to eliminate teacher tenure in California

Superintendents Launch of Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Toolkit

Superintendent Launches Lunch and Learn

Superintendent participates in Read Across America Day

Launched Budget Toolkit to provide community members input in the pre-budget development process

Town Hall Meeting on Fiscal Year 2015 Budget

Board extends Superintendents Contract

Superintendent urges passages of Title I Funding Bill

Read Across America in partnership with Portland ConnectED

Board will focus Fiscal Year 2015 Budget on Student Achievement

Superintendents Proposed Fiscal Year 2015 Budget

Portland City Councils Fiscal Year 2015 School Budget Workshop and Budget Referendum Vote May 13, 2014

Farm to School movement to increase amount of locally grown foods served in school lunches

District launches initiatives to improve student performance

Superintendents Book Club will discuss 21st Century Skills

Superintendents Notebook: Monthly Column

Superintendent launches Lets Talk Portland! a 24 hour way for community members to provide feedback

Superintendent Lets Talk Portland! Webisode interview with Karen MacDonald, Maines 2014 Teacher of the Year

Superintendents Blog

Portland Press Herald Editorial Board Op-Ed piece in support of Districts Fiscal Year 2015 Budget