The Everett Public School (EPS) turned heads regionally and locally over the weekend in an announcement of the hire of a long-time Boston Public Schools leader, and the promotion of the current basketball coach within the district to an administrative leadership position.
The hires also marked a tremendous stride in making the leadership of the schools more diverse, and in changing how candidates are chosen – using a panel of voices from school buildings.
First and foremost, several were shocked to learn that veteran BPS administrator Cory McCarthy had been pulled out of a leadership position at the Central Office and as Athletic Director of New Mission High School to become the Everett High vice principal.
McCarthy has been involved with athletics at New Mission since 2002, specifically in basketball, where he was a five-time state championship coach. In recent years, he has been the athletic director there and also holds an administrative position as the BPS Director of Operations, Climate and Culture. He also helped to found the Urban Coaches Association with Lynn English Coach Antonio Anderson and a host of other coaches from urban areas. He has been retired from coaching since the 2017 season, and Tahiliani said he was specifically brought in for the vice principal job, and not as the basketball coach.
“Leaving New Mission is very difficult,” wrote McCarthy on his Twitter page last Friday. “It was a life changing experience. My students are my soul. Without the Titans I would have been a shell of an educator. I will be moving on from BPS to becoming the next Vice Principal of Everett High School.”
Tahiliani said she is very excited to see the district attract top talent from inside and outside the district.
“I think it’s amazing we are attracting candidates of this quality from inside Everett and outside the district,” she said. “I feel like we are attracting highly qualified candidates to these positions. I’m grateful we’re getting a balance too. You have to have the institutional knowledge of Everett in your leadership, and it’s also good to have fresh eyes (like McCarthy).”
The in-house promotion – filling the last major vacancy in the district – was the vice principal job at the Parlin School. That went to Stanley Chamberlain, who worked at Everett High and took the promotion to the Parlin. He is also the successful head basketball coach of the high school team and will remain the coach despite having to leave the high school building for the new position.
The hiring process, Tahiliani said, has actually been changed from past practices. Instead of a unilateral decision from the Central Office or from a building leader, she said she has made it more like the superintendent search. She said she instituted a process that uses panels of teachers, staff and guidance counselors to review applications and make final recommendations. In these cases, the two top candidates chosen by the panel are forwarded to building leaders to make the hire.
“I felt like…teachers who have been here a long time should have a say in who their leaders are,” said Tahiliani. “We’ve even had board members from the Everett Teachers Association on the panels as well.”
The hires also mark a further step in the direction of a diverse leadership team, as both McCarthy and Chamberlain are black men and noted mentors for their students. Their hiring has added to a great deal of diversity being injected into the district over the last six months.
“It’s not a top-down decision,” she said. “We are excited to have people here that look more like our students. This year will be tough, but we’re making positive strides in the right direction. When we come out of this, we’ll be in a very good place I think.” School will begin remotely and in e-Learning Centers on Tuesday, Sept. 15