Boston Latin graduate who moved to DC to return as school headmaster

School Superintendent Tommy Chang announced today he's chosen Rachel Skerritt as Boston Latin School headmaster.

Skerritt, a Dorchester native and BLS graduate, is currently deputy chief of leadership development for the District of Columbia Public Schools.

She is the first person of color to head the exam school. She is the 28th headmaster in the school's 382-year history.

Skerritt replaces Lynne Mooney Teta, another BLS alum, who resigned last June after a contentious period involving the racial climate at the school. Retired Headmaster Michael Contompasis had served as interim headmaster.

Skerritt, who earned a bachelor's degree and a masters in education at the University of Pennsylvania, has past BPS and BLS experience - she taught English between 1999 and 2006, and served on the committee that wrote what is still the school's mission statement. In 2007, she was appointed headmaster at Another Course to College; in 2009, then Superintendent Carol Johnson made Skerritt her chief of staff.

Skerritt left Boston in 2010 to become principal at Eastern Senior High School in Washington DC, which had gone through 13 principals in 12 years before her arrival, but which she helped lead out of "turnaround" status by 2015. In June 2016, she was appointed deputy chief of leadership development for DCPS, overseeing the district's professional development programs for school leaders and aspiring principals.

In a statement, Chang said:

Rachel's life and professional experiences are tailor-made to lead Boston Latin School into its next chapter of excellence and equity for all. She is a champion of providing rigor and opportunities for every single student in her care, and she is someone who will not compromise when it comes to the education of young people.

Mayor Marty Walsh added:

We would be hard pressed to find another educator better suited to lead Boston Latin School than Rachel Skerritt. Rachel's passion for her alma mater, her deep familiarity with its traditions, and her commitment to equity make her uniquely qualified for this role,. We are grateful she has chosen to return to Boston and serve the students of our city.

Developers that specialize in rehabbing old buildings look to build new apartments on Lower Roxbury parking lot

Architect's rendering.

Developers are proposing a six-story, 23-unit apartment building on what is now a parking lot on Newcomb St., off Washington Street, in lower Roxbury.

The building, to be called One Newcomb Place, would sit between two older buildings that developers Joseph DiGangi and V. William Avanessian converted into apartments, one a 1904 building at 11 Newcomb, the other a formerly fire-ravaged hulk at 1902 Washington St.

In their filing with the BPDA, DiGangi and Avanessian propose nine 1-bedroom apartments, six 2-bedroom units, six three-bedroom units and two three-bedroom duplexes. Three of the units would be rented as affordable.

Tenants would get a shot at a space in a 20-space lot shared with a neighboring building. The developers say demand for parking will likely be low since the proposed building is just 400 feet from a Silver Line stop and less than a mile from the Ruggles and Massachusetts Avenue stops on the Orange Line.

Architect's rendering

In their filing, the developers describe some of the building's benefits:

The proposed project will serve to further transform a once sparsely populated and high crime area of the city into a vibrant mixed income neighborhood. Apart from the creation of 23 new residential apartments and one [handicap-accessible] unit, there will be additional site improvements for landscaping, pedestrian walk-ways and lighting along Newcomb Street. Currently the existing street lights along Newcomb Street are utilitarian in design and are powered from electrical supply lines above. We propose to provide power to the lights from below ground when we dig the street and replace the current lights with the ornamental acorn style lights that can be found all along Washington Street. The project will also create or cause to be created three new affordable housing units that will provide 3 families in the neighborhood an opportunity to live in a new construction luxury building at an affordable price.

This addition to the existing building will complete the overall look and massing of Newcomb Street. We feel our proposal for the overall site at six (6) stories is very much in keeping with the current density in the neighborhood. Not only is the scale appropriate, but we feel the building aesthetic, when complete, will add a great deal to the look and feel of the neighborhood. The addition will continue to bring new residents to a portion of the city that can support more people, and most importantly, it will do so without displacing any existing residents. Surrounding businesses will continue to benefit from increased foot traffic and an expanded customer base.

One Newcomb Place small-project review application (36M PDF).

Four-story condo building proposed for vacant lot at edge of Dudley Square

Architect's rendering.

The Madison Park Development Corp. this week filed plans with the BPDA to build a 16-unit condo building on a vacant lot it owns at 2451 Washington St., across from the B-2 police station and next to a four-story apartment building Madison Park owns.

"By offering new homeownership opportunities, MPDC’s project will encourage community stability," in an area where condo prices jumped from $162,134 to $413,302 between 2010 and 2015.

The building, a quarter-mile from the Dudley Square bus station, would have 16 parking spaces.

Madison Park, which bought the lot in 2006, says the building would meet existing zoning for the site, and would take 12 to 18 months for construction, which it hopes to begin late this fall.

2451 Washington St. small-project review application (934k PDF).

Israeli teen charged with bomb threats to Jewish centers in Boston area, elsewhere

Ha'aretz reports he has dual Israeli and American citizenship:

The suspect has lived in Israel many years. The army refused to draft him after finding him unfit for service. The suspect's motive is unknown, but police accuse him of hundreds of incidents involving threats to institutions around the world, including Israel, over a period of two or three years.

With development set to explode nearby, city looks to fix traffic in once sleepy Readville square

The Bulletin reports the city is currently studying traffic in Wolcott Square - the southernmost square in the city - and could spend up to $1 million to replace the antiquated lights at the complex intersection.

The work comes at a possibly critical time for the neighborhood: Residents have long complained about traffic flow in both the square and on the nearby Father Hart bridge - and now developers are proposing developments that could add hundreds of apartments to the neighborhood.

Developers have pledged to work towards fixing the Father Hart Bridge problem in particular, something that has long stymied residents because the bridge and nearby roads are divided between city and state jurisdiction.

Pages