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School Committee appoints Interim Superintendent for 2019-2020 School Year

Following former Superintendent Bott’s July 19 announcement of his resignation, we have made great strides to secure leadership for the school district. On July 22, the school committee established the Interim Superintendent Preliminary Screening Committee. Over the past four weeks, the committee worked diligently to identify an interim superintendent. 

At their August 19 meeting, the School Committee unanimously voted to appoint Ben Lummis to be the interim superintendent of the Public Schools of Brookline for the 2019-2020 school year. Mr. Lummis currently serves as the Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Strategy & Performance.

The search for an interim superintendent was thorough. The screening committee met five times between July 22 and August 19. Members of the committee include Suzanne Federspiel, Jennifer Monopoli, David Pearlman and Helen Charlupski. Lisa Richardson, Director of Human Resources, and Lesley Ryan Miller, Pierce School principal, participated as advisors to the committee. The committee actively recruited possible candidates and sought recommendations from those who declined to be considered for the position. The committee also contacted the executive directors of both the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) and the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) on a number of occasions to consult with them regarding prospective candidates. Members of the Boston College, Boston University and Harvard University graduate schools of education were also contacted for suggestions on possible candidates. Finally, the screening committee also received suggestions from the community.

In total, more than 20 retired superintendents and deputy superintendents were contacted and encouraged them to apply. The district received six applications, of which three candidates were invited to interview. The candidate pool of applicants was diverse in terms of race, gender and age. After the interviews, the committee unanimously voted to recommend Mr. Lummis for interim superintendent. 

The process for finding a new, permanent superintendent is scheduled to commence shortly after the start of the school year. 

More about Ben Lummis

For the past four years, Mr. Lummis has served the Brookline community as the Special Assistant to the Superintendent for Strategy & Performance. As Special Assistant, he has gained a deep knowledge of the Brookline school district and the vast array of work that is happening across all of our schools. 

As Special Assistant, Mr. Lummis has played a leadership role in areas related to curriculum and instruction, policy, capital projects, contract negotiations, professional development, and community engagement. He has worked on, and has in-depth knowledge of, all of the major school-based and district-wide priorities. By working side by side with Superintendent Bott, and closely with all principals, teachers and administrators, and with the School Committee, Select Board, Town Boards and Commissions, Town departments, PTO leaders, and community members, Mr. Lummis has the relationships needed to successfully lead the district through the 2019-2020 school year. 

Over the course of his 25-year career in public education, Mr. Lummis has filled many roles. He started as a middle school English teacher in Needham and Cambridge, has coached principals, supported schools and teacher teams in redesigning their schools to create a more well-rounded school day that included arts, enrichment, physical activity and more hands on learning, worked with union and state educational leaders, and led international professional development for teachers and administrators to learn about the education systems in Finland, China, England. Mr. Lummis also served as a Cambridge School Committee member in the early 2000s. Mr. Lummis earned his BA from the University of Michigan and his Masters in Teaching from Tufts University.