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The Department has moved to 135 Santilli Highway in Everett. The Department's office and Licensure Welcome Center are open. The new location has free parking and is a short walk from the Wellington station on the MBTA's Orange Line.
Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE)

Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Members

How to Contact the Board

Board Terms

Katherine Craven
Katherine Craven, Chair
Babson College
Chief Administrative Officer
231 Forest Street
Babson Park, MA 02457-0310

Katherine Craven currently serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of Babson College, one of the nation's leading business colleges. Katherine began her career as a budget director and policy advisor to the Massachusetts House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means. Craven was named Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the newly created Massachusetts School Building Authority in 2004, where she won plaudits for her effective management and leadership. While leading the School Building Authority, Craven was also named First Deputy Treasurer of the Commonwealth. Craven left the School Building Authority and the Treasurer's Office in 2011 when she was appointed Executive Director of the UMass Building Authority and Assistant Vice President for Capital Finance for the University of Massachusetts. Craven received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Harvard University. She is a resident of Brookline, where she lives with her husband and five children. Her appointment fills the vacancy left by Board member Beverly Holmes, who stepped down from the Board last year. Craven fills the business seat on the Board.

Matt Hills
Matt Hills, Vice-Chair
c/o Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway
Everett, MA 02149

Matt Hills served on the Newton School Committee from 2010-2018, during which time he was Chair of the School Committee and Chair of the collective bargaining team. He is a Managing Director at LLM Capital Partners, a private equity firm. Matt's career has been in private equity, investment banking and strategy consulting. He has served on public and private corporate and non-profit Boards in the U.S., Canada and Israel.

Matt has been active in Newton's community and public school affairs for many years. Matt and his wife Lisa have four children, all of whom were Newton Public Schools K-12 students. He holds a B.A. from Brandeis University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Ericka Fisher
Dr. Ericka Fisher
c/o Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway
Everett, MA 02149

Ericka Fisher is Chair and Associate Professor of Education at the College of the Holy Cross. Specializing in multicultural education, intersectionality, student socioemotional wellness, and human development her publications include: a book entitled Educating the Urban Race, as well as several articles related to students' lived experience in schools including, The N-Word: Reducing Verbal Pollution in Schools, and The Moral Consequences of Studying the Vulnerable: Court Mandated Reporting and Beyond. Ericka also serves on various community and civic committees related to educational matters in Worcester.

She holds a BA in Sociology from the College of the Holy Cross, a master's in school counseling, and a EdD in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. She resides in Worcester with her family.

Ela Gardiner
Ela Gardiner
c/o Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway
Everett, MA 02149

Ela Gardiner was elected as the Student Member of the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education in June 2023, one of the only student board members to have full voting rights in the country. Ela has been a trailblazer for young voices in Massachusetts advocacy, working with the Massachusetts Association of Student Representatives and the National Student Board Member Association. Beginning in October 2021, Ela has served as the top Communications official with the Young Democrats of Massachusetts and was the youngest person to hold the office when elected. Ela has worked both locally and statewide to advance educational policy, with particular focuses on financial literacy education; LGBTQ+ and women's resources; and mental, physical, and emotional health education. She lives in Wellesley and is a senior at Wellesley High School. She plans to go to college to further her studies in political science and advocacy.

Farzana Mohamed
Farzana Mohamed
c/o Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway
Everett, MA 02149

Farzana Mohamed is a native of Nairobi, Kenya, where she was raised by parents and a community deeply committed to educational advancement. Admitted to MIT as an undergraduate, she was the first in her family to attend university. While at MIT, she participated in tutoring programs for students of diverse backgrounds. She stayed on to graduate with two masters degrees, one in Environmental Engineering and one in Urban Studies and Planning. A career in healthcare followed, first with an emphasis on strategic planning, governance, and clinical quality improvement at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and BID Hospital~Needham, and later in helping to establish clinical research and educational programs in India and Spain. For the last decade, she has focused on teaching and advising on negotiation, especially for students and young professionals, both domestically and abroad. Farzana has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts in Jamaica Plain, Board of Advisors of the Charles River Watershed Association, and the Metrowest Advisory Council of Mass Audubon Society. She has served in a variety of leadership roles, including youth education and sports programming, as well as clergy functions, in the Shia Ismaili Muslim community. She lives in Newton with her husband and son, who attends the local public elementary school.

Michael Moriarty
Michael Moriarty
OneHolyoke Community Development Corporation
70 Lyman Street
Holyoke, MA 01040

Michael Moriarty is a lifelong resident of Holyoke, where he served for 13 years on the school committee. He was instrumental in the formation of the Holyoke Early Literacy Initiative, a community wide collaborative focused on increasing the number of students that are proficient in reading by the end of third grade. He has also been a vocal advocate for arts education.

In 2013, Attorney Moriarty was named the executive director of a community development corporation based in Holyoke. OneHolyoke Community Development Corporation is a mission driven non-profit that believes every resident of Holyoke should live in a dignified home and a safe, attractive neighborhood. Prior to joining the company, he was a practicing attorney focused on real estate and civil matters. In the 1980's, he was a teacher at Holyoke's William R. Peck Junior High School.

He is a graduate of the Catholic University of America (BA '85) and Western New England University School of Law (JD '93). He is married to Attorney Susan Turcotte Moriarty. They are the parents of two children, who like Mike, are proud products of the Holyoke Public Schools.

Dálida Rocha
Dálida Rocha
c/o Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway
Everett, MA 02149

Dálida Rocha is a Cape Verdean immigrant, mother of three, UMass Boston graduate, resident of Worcester and an active labor advocate.

Dálida is currently the Executive Director of Neighbor to Neighbor. As Political Director of SEIU 32BJ, she convened and served as the Co-chair of the Driving Families Forward Coalition to pass the Work and Family Mobility Act. Then, returned to serve as the Field Director for the Yes on 4 for Safer Roads Campaign.

Paymon Rouhanifard
Paymon Rouhanifard
c/o Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway
Everett, MA 02149

Paymon Rouhanifard is the co-founder and CEO of Propel America, an organization that empowers students with the skills, experiences, credentials, and social networks necessary to transition from high school to an upwardly-mobile first job within one-year of high school graduation.

Previously, he served as the superintendent of Camden, New Jersey from 2013 to 2018 where he helped lead improvements in student outcomes, reductions in out-of-school suspensions, stronger family engagement, and critical capital investments in school facilities.

Rouhanifard started his career in New York City as a 6th grade teacher in West Harlem and went on to work in the central office of the New York City Department of Education. Prior to that, Rouhanifard worked as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs and a private equity associate.

He holds a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mary Ann Stewart
Mary Ann Stewart
c/o Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway
Everett, MA 02149

Mary Ann is a parent of three in Lexington and an advocate, community organizer, and activist, speaking before government officials and policy-makers who make decisions impacting the lives of children, youth, and families.

Mary Ann has served in numerous leadership roles at the local, state, and national levels. She was first elected to Town Meeting in 2006 and to School Committee in 2009, where she served as Chair. From 2010–2012 she was president of Massachusetts Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and from 2011-2014 Mary Ann chaired MassPartners for Public Schools, a coalition of statewide education associations (MASC, MASS, MSSAA, MTA, AFT) and the Massachusetts PTA. In 2017 she completed a two-year term as Northeast Regional Representative on NASBE's Board of Directors.

Mary Ann continues to serve on the Leadership Team of Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts and as a founding board member of the Wilkinson Young Singers Fund, a non-profit providing financial support to young singers pursuing a professional music career in the Boston area.

Dr. Patrick Tutwiler
Dr. Patrick Tutwiler
Secretary of Education
Executive Office of Education
One Ashburton Place, Room 1403
Boston, MA 02108

Patrick Tutwiler, PhD is the Secretary of the Executive Office of Education, and the first Black person to ever hold that role in Massachusetts’ history. He most recently was the Senior Program Officer for Education at the Barr Foundation, where he specialized in developing new high school models that will have a positive impact across the entire school system. He has more than twenty years’ experience in public education as a high school history teacher, as a high school principal and as the superintendent of the Lynn Public Schools. As Lynn Superintendent, Secretary Tutwiler led a collaborative, equity-centered effort that resulted in increased graduation rates, decreased push out rates, a more racially diverse faculty and staff, and the establishment of Massachusetts’ second largest early college program. He earned a BA in history from The College of the Holy Cross, a master’s in education from Harvard University Graduate School of Education, and a PhD in curriculum and instruction from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College. He lives in Andover with his family.

Martin West
Dr. Martin West
c/o Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway
Everett, MA 02149

Martin West is professor of education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and editor-in-chief of Education Next, a journal of opinion and research on education policy. He previously worked as senior advisor to the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, taught at Brown University, and was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution. West received a B.A. in History from Williams College, an M.Phil. in Economic and Social History from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in Government and Social Policy from Harvard University. He lives in Newton with his wife and two sons who attend public schools.

Jeffrey C. Riley
Jeffrey C. Riley, Secretary to the Board
Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education
Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway
Everett, MA 02149

Jeffrey C. Riley was appointed Massachusetts' 24th commissioner of elementary and secondary education in early 2018 and began serving as commissioner on April 5, 2018. A Massachusetts native, Mr. Riley's experience spans urban and suburban districts and includes teaching in Baltimore, Md., being principal of Tyngsboro Middle School, and being principal of Boston's Edwards Middle School. In January 2012, Commissioner Riley was appointed superintendent/receiver of the Lawrence Public Schools. During his more than six years there, he led a team that brought major improvements by shifting more resources and autonomy to the school level, expanding the school day, increasing enrichment opportunities, and ensuring all schools had great leaders and teachers.

Commissioner Riley lives in Boston and holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Pomona College in California, a master's degree in counseling from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland and a master's degree in school administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University.

Last Updated: February 5, 2024

 
Contact Us

Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
135 Santilli Highway, Everett, MA 02149

Voice: (781) 338-3000
TTY: (800) 439-2370

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