|For Immediate Release|
|Wednesday, July 9, 2008|
|Contact:||Heidi Guarino 781-338-3106|
Former Lowell Superintendent Hired To Oversee School and District Partnerships
MALDEN - Former Lowell Superintendent Karla Brooks Baehr has been hired to fill a newly-created Deputy Commissioner position at the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to oversee the agency's partnerships with and support of schools and districts across the Commonwealth. She will work alongside current Deputy Commissioner Jeffrey Nellhaus.
Baehr has more than 35 years of experience at the top levels of public education in both urban and suburban Massachusetts communities. She ended her eight-year stint in Lowell on June 30 and will begin at the Department on July 21.
"One of our most important responsibilities is to establish strong school and district partnerships to ensure that we are adding value to the work of teachers and administrators across the Commonwealth," said Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester. "I can think of no better person to lead this charge than Karla, who brings decades of experience on the front lines, energy and enthusiasm for the work ahead, and well-established relationships with the superintendents who need this assistance the most. In my mind, she is a natural fit for this role."
Education Secretary Paul Reville agreed, calling Baehr one of the "most respected educational leaders in the state."
"Her experience is rich and varied," he said. "She's the ideal person to lead a concerted effort by the Department to assist schools in improving performance."
Baehr has been Superintendent of the Lowell Public Schools since 2000. Prior to moving to Lowell she taught curriculum and instruction in a master's program at Lesley University's Graduate School of Education, served as Superintendent of the Wellesley Public Schools, and interim Superintendent in Lexington and Franklin.
She was the co-chair of the Governor's Readiness Project subcommittee on Accountability and Assistance and served as co-facilitator of the Urban Superintendents' Network from 2000 until June of 2008.
"In this next phase of Education Reform, we have a real opportunity to move the Department's work forward through two-way communication and effective collaboration," Baehr said. "The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education must now do its part to support the work already underway by superintendents, principals, teachers and others in pursuit of that promise. I'm excited to join the Department at a time when it is poised to pursue and meet that worthy challenge."