Newly named BPS Superintendent Mary Skipper says she will work to create a school system where students, teachers, parents and Boston's vast array of world-class institutions work together to create a system that ensures a quality education for every student.
"We need every Boston public school to be a place where students run into the building, where they are thrilled to be there," Skipper said at her first Boston press conference, in front of TechBoston Academy in Dorchester, where she was the founding headmaster in 2002.
The School Committee yesterday voted to hire Skipper, currently superintendent in Somerville, to replace Brenda Cassellius, who leaves the job today.
Skipper said she will likely fully phase in as Boston school head in September, both to get up to speed in Boston and to help Somerville transition to its own new superintendent. But she said she's already started working on Boston issues and joked she will now be working nine hours a day in Boston - she lives in Dorchester - and nine hours a day in Somerville.
Drew Echelson, deputy superintendent of academics, will serve as interim superintendent until September.
She said her day-one priorities are those identified by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, which only this week decided not to take over Boston schools: Special education and English learning, transportation and the state of school buildings. She said that half of BPS's students are either in special-education or English learning programs and that any work bolstering educational programs will be for naught if school buildings are in bad shape or if students can't get to school if their bus doesn't come.
She said that she also vows to work to both increase community and family trust in BPS - which she said already has "immense talent" among its teachers and staff.
"We need it to be a place where our families trust that what we say we're going to do, we do," she said, adding that also means honesty when it comes to problems BPS runs into.
And she vowed to work with the city's colleges and other institutions and companies to become part of the BPS "village" and to help improve the education students get. "This is Boston!" she said.