Welcome new staff and administrators!
In late August, Superintendent Guillory and members of the School Committee welcomed over 140 new educators and interns to the PSB community. This three-day hybrid orientation introduced the district's priorities and standards for educational equity, instruction, collaboration, and professional responsibility. Our new educators' dedication, thoughtfulness, and excitement were clearly evident and we are excited for the upcoming school year.
Proud and honored to welcome new educators to Brookline! Opening remarks from Superintendent Linus Guillory, School Committee Chair Suzanne Federspiel, and HR Director Tye’sha Fluker. We hire the best to teach/support the best! pic.twitter.com/L84ICGnXfh— Brookline MA Schools (@BrooklinePublic) August 23, 2021
At the School Committee Meeting on Thursday, September 9, PSB also announced a number of new school-based and central office administrators to the central office team and others who will be stepping into new roles for the 2021-22 school year. We are pleased to announce our new administrators:
Co-Director of Special Education (Baker, Heath, Lincoln, and Runkle)
Samantha Bracy joins the Public Schools of Brookline as the Co-Director of Special Education. Ms. Bracy will work with district and school-level staff to provide leadership, professional development, and support for inclusive education for all students. She will also oversee specialized programming for students with disabilities for Baker, Heath, Lincoln, and Runkle Schools.
Ms. Bracy brings to Brookline over 20 years of experience working in special education. Like so many others, she has roots in Brookline where she first worked as a paraprofessional at Lawrence and in our Extended School Year (ESY) program. From Brookline, Ms. Bracy went on to become a special education teacher in Winthrop and Newton. She comes to us most recently as a special education director at Match Community Day Charter Public School. Over the years, Ms. Bracy developed expertise in students with physical disabilities and students with dyslexia.
In addition to a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Northeastern University, Ms. Bracy earned a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Reading at Bridgewater State University. At Match Community Day, she developed specialized programs and instructional models for students with dyslexia and students with physical disabilities.
Interim Director of Special Education - BHS
Ms. Carolyn Wilson worked most recently for Nuttall, MacAvoy, and Joyce as an attorney. Prior to that, Ms. Wilson was the Director of Student Services in Reading Public Schools where she oversaw special education, nursing, Section 504, and English Language Learners for the district. Ms. Wilson has worked in special education since 1997, serving in different sectors including a private special education day school, a charter school, and at the state level with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. She has also served as a Member-At-Large for the Massachusetts branch of the International Dyslexia Association.
Ms. Wilson received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Anselm College and holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from Simmons College. Her Master’s thesis was focused on the benefits of peer mentoring in a residential setting for adolescent girls with learning disabilities. She also graduated with Honors from Suffolk University where Carolyn earned her law degree.
Mike Chan will be serving as the communications specialist at PSB. In this role, Mr. Chan will use print, digital and social media to keep internal and external stakeholders informed of and engaged with PSB’s strategic initiatives and the ongoing progress of our schools. He will also work closely with Senior Staff to develop and implement a strategic approach to communications with the goal of providing internal and external stakeholders with essential and timely information.
Mr. Chan joined PSB in 2018 as the Enrollment and Community Engagement Specialist. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from Boston University.
Assistant Director of Guidance, Clinical Services, and Social-Emotional Learning
Dr. Matt Dubois has been hired as the Assistant Director of Guidance, Clinical Services, and Social-Emotional Learning. Dr. DuBois will be working closely with the Office of Student Services, Office of Teaching and Learning, and the school guidance team to create, adapt, and execute SEL initiatives within schools, and provide technical assistance and best practices to district and school staff around promoting students' social-emotional development and well-being. Dr. DuBois will also be responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive school counseling program based upon District goals and the identified needs of the students at the PreK-8 level.
Dr. DuBois is a licensed school psychologist and clinical psychologist who has worked at Brookline High School (BHS) since 2016. He earned his doctorate in School Psychology from Northeastern University in May 2015 and subsequently completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Brown University.
In his time at BHS, Dr. DuBois served as the lead clinician for the Supported Learning Center (SLC), led the Early Warning Data and Social-Emotional Learning Teams, and was a member of the district-wide Social-Emotional Learning Team. In addition to his role in Brookline, Dr. DuBois has served as a lecturer in Northeastern University’s School Psychology program since 2017 and is President-Elect of the Massachusetts School Psychologist’s Association (MSPA). Dr. DuBois has published academic and clinical research in the Journal of School Psychology, School Psychology Review, and the Communiqué.
Coordinator of Social-Emotional Learning and Mental Health for the Brookline METCO Program K-12
Mr. Kendell Jones is the new Coordinator of Social-Emotional Learning and Mental Health for the Brookline METCO Program K-12. Mr. Jones is a Brookline High School alum and he has worked for the Public Schools of Brookline for 15 years. Prior to this role Mr. Jones served as an advisor for the Steps to Success Program, and as Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention Counselor at BHS for the public health department. Mr. Jones is also the varsity coach for the BHS Lady Warriors basketball team.
In his role as Coordinator, he will facilitate professional learning opportunities for faculty and provide increased communication and resources in the area of SEL and mental health to our METCO scholars and families.
Mr. Jones is also the founder and facilitator of CORE (Communicating Our Real Experiences) a program designed to bring awareness to and address the social, emotional, mental, and health issues that impact the lives of our BIPOC high school students. The goal of CORE is to provide student leaders with the platform to make a positive change that will improve students' social and emotional well-being, school culture, and create a more welcoming community for all.
Mr. Jones holds a Bachelor’s of Sociology from Florida Memorial University and a Master’s in Social Work at Simmons University.
Interim Dean of 9th Grade
Brendan Kobus has taught special education in Brookline since 2009 and has been an Associate Dean for the last five years and as the principal of our Summer School for the last three. He is hyper-competent as a teacher, dean, and school leader. Mr. Kobus knows the ninth grade faculty, staff, and program well. He is looking forward to supporting our ninth grade students, families, and staff. Mr. Kobus received his undergraduate degree in history from Central Connecticut State University, he holds a master’s degree in special education from Lesley University and a master’s degree in educational leadership through the EDCO Educator Leadership Institute and Endicott College.
Sarah Ladner Apollo
Winthrop House Coordinator
Mrs. Sarah Ladner Apollo joined the Public Schools of Brookline twelve years ago as a math teacher at Winthrop House. During her tenure as a teacher, Mrs. Ladner Apollo developed expertise in content and meeting students where they are while holding high expectations of them. Mrs. Ladner Apollo now joins as the Coordinator of Winthrop House. As Coordinator, she will provide instructional leadership and management of Winthrop House through day-to-day operations while promoting learning and growth of all students in a clinical milieu.
Before joining the Winthrop House, Mrs. Ladner Apollo lived and learned across New England. She grew up in rural Maine attending the local public school, then earned her B.A. in Mathematics with a minor in Education from Middlebury College in Vermont. Mrs. Ladner Apollo moved to Boston to earn her Ed.M. in Secondary Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and now calls the city home. With years of teaching under her belt, Mrs. Ladner Apollo’s passion for supporting students grew to include the entire student experience, leading her to enroll in the C.A.G.S. in Educational Leadership program at Salem State University in the fall of 2020.
Vice Principal at Driscoll School
Melissa Lyons joins the Driscoll staff as an additional Vice Principal, joining Michelle Bartley and David Youkilis as part of Driscoll’s administrative team. Melissa worked at the Driscoll School during her time as a teacher in our BEEP program. Most recently Melissa was the K-3 team facilitator for Runkle School and the Florida Ruffin Ridley School. Melissa has a Master of Science degree from Simmons College where she earned her leadership certificate. Melissa also has a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University. Melissa is a passionate educator who is always looking to improve her practice and leadership skills. She has been a teacher mentor in Brookline and she has enjoyed working across grade levels on district wide committees and piloting new programs or initiatives. Melissa believes in providing rich educational experiences for all students and strives to build relationships with students, families and colleagues.
Senior Director of Teaching and Learning for Secondary Education
Gabriel McCormick joins the team in the Office of Teaching and Learning as our new Senior Director of Teaching and Learning for Secondary Education. In this new role, Mr. McCormick will collaborate with the Brookline High School leadership team to ensure content and curriculum alignment between our high school and our K-8 schools. He will also lead an examination of our middle school model, oversee the district’s Mentoring & Induction program PK-12 and serve as a liaison for external partners like Steps to Success, the Brookline Education Foundation, and the Innovation Fund.
Mr. McCormick rejoins the Office of Teaching and Learning Central Office after two years as our Curriculum Coordinator for K-8 Social Studies and before that, he served for five years as our Director of Professional Development. Prior to joining Brookline, he served as an Instructional Mentor and taught Social Studies and AVID in middle school and high school for the Bellevue School District in Bellevue, WA.
Mr. McCormick received a Bachelor of Arts from Oberlin College with a double major in Modern European History and East Asian Studies and holds a Master of Education from the University of Washington, Seattle with a focus on Secondary Social Studies Teaching. He has also collaborated with the University of Washington LIFE center, Primary Source, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education providing leadership coaching and to develop authentic student assessments.
Interim Curriculum Coordinator for Social Studies K-8
Greg Porter joins the curriculum department as our Interim Curriculum Coordinator for Social Studies K-8. In this role Mr. Porter will lead the ongoing development of the district’s K-8 Social Studies curriculum, supervise middle grades social studies teachers, and serve as a member of the Office of Teaching & Learning’s Curriculum Department.
Prior to this role Mr. Porter has served fifteen years in the Public Schools of Brookline including eight years as a 5th grade classroom teacher and seven years as a middle grades social studies teacher at the Lawrence School. He has also been a new teacher mentor and Mentored Professional Learning coach for the district.
Mr. Porter earned a BA in History from UMASS Amherst, a Masters in Education from Wheelock College, a Certification in Counseling Psychology from Lesley University, and a Certification in Instructional Educational Technology from Emmanuel College. Mr. Porter also actively pursues professional learning opportunities, most recently in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. He has completed SEED facilitator training, Restorative Justice training, and training from the Disruptive Equity Education Project.
Interim Coordinator for K-12 Visual Arts
Donna Sartanowicz joins the Curriculum Coordinator team as the Interim Coordinator for K-12 Visual Arts. Ms. Sartanowicz brings more than 24 years of instructional experience to the role. The last 17 years have been spent with the students of Brookline High School. Before coming to Brookline Donna was a teacher in Walpole.
Throughout her career in Brookline Ms. Sartanowicz has served as a leader in the Visual Arts department. She served on the curriculum review committee to create and articulate the Brookline Visual Arts Framework. During the last NEASC review, she served on the steering committee. Ms. Sartanowicz has facilitated professional development for the teachers of Brookline as well as at the state and national level. She has also worked extensively to hone her skills in providing feedback to students and teachers, including university practicum students. Ms. Sartanowicz has also been granted multiple Brookline Education Foundation grants including one that sent her to the AP Art and Design Summer Institute at the Taft Education Center.
Ms. Sartanowicz holds a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing and a Master’s of Art Education from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.
Interim Dean of Students, Grades 10-12
Summer Williams has been a Performing Arts teacher at BHS for 17 years and became an Associate Dean three years ago. She was the lead dean for the Class of 2021 and thus managed much of the student support work for this COVID class and the celebrations we had in the spring (commencement, senior block party, etc.). Dean Williams builds and fosters culture, communicates incredibly well, and has been particularly focused on our racial equity efforts through extensive work with professional development and her epic Spring Plays that have elevated student voice. Summer also is the Co-Founder of Company One Theatre in Boston and holds both graduate and undergraduate degrees from Clark University.
Interim Principal of Pierce School
Jamie Yadoff will be stepping in as the interim principal of the Pierce School for the 2021-2022 school year. Ms. Yadoff has been Vice Principal at Pierce School since 2018. Prior to that, she was a middle school English, Social Studies and Health teacher at Pierce from 2005 to 2018. Before joining the faculty at Pierce, she was an educator in the Lexington Public Schools for five years.
An established member of the Brookline community, Ms. Yadoff was awarded the Excellence in Education award by the Goldin Foundation in 2011. She also served as chair of the 8th grade Textbook Selection Committee in 2015. Ms. Yadoff holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northern Illinois University and Master of Education degrees from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Endicott College.