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Three Named Finalists For Superintendent Job

A high school principal, an executive director of an educational collaborative and an assistant superintendent were named.

A high school principal, an executive director of an educational collaborative and an assistant superintendent were named today, Thursday, Nov. 21 as finalists to become the next Belmont Public Schools Superintendent.

Andrew Stephens, principal of Duxbury High School, Dr. Anne McKenzie, executive director of the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative and John Phelan, assistant superintendent at the Milton Public Schools were selected by the Superintendent Screening Committee after it completed the work of vetting candidates, according to Laurie Graham, Belmont School and Superintendent Screening committees chair.

"Each candidate brings the qualities of an experienced educator, a skilled, collaborative leader and a demonstrable commitment to a whole-student approach with a genuine passion for meeting the needs of a diverse student body," said Graham in an email to Belmont Patch.

Next up for the finalists will be spending a day in the district, interviewing with different groups: staff, students and the community. 

The School Committee invites all those interested to attend the interviews and to take the opportunity to provide input about each candidate; feedback forms will be available at each interview session. 

The schedule for community interviews, which will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Chenery Middle School auditorium, are:

  • Monday, Dec. 2: Dr. Anne McKenzie
  • Tuesday, Dec. 3: Andrew G. Stephens
  • Thursday, Dec. 5: John P. Phelan

The School Committee plans to conduct finalist interviews on Thursday, Dec. 12  followed by a deliberation and vote to select the future superintendent at its Dec. 17 meeting. 

"We are grateful to all the members of the screening committee for their commitment to the first phase of the process. We look forward to the important and valued school and community input as we move to the selection and appointment of our next Superintendent of the Belmont Public School system," said Graham

Candidate biographies

Dr. Anne McKenzie

Dr. McKenzie is currently the executive director of the Lower Pioneer Valley Educational Collaborative, a position she has held since July, 2006. Prior to this, she served as both an assistant principal and principal of West Springfield High School from 2001 to 2006. Dr. McKenzie began her career as a special education teacher, teaching across content areas at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. She has served as an adjunct faculty member at Lesley University and American International College, teaching graduate level courses in the areas of equity, curriculum, instruction, and assessment, as well as overseeing the field placements for administrators. Dr. McKenzie has a bachelor’s degree in History from the University of California, San Diego; a master’s degree in special education from Chapman University; a doctorate in education policy and administration from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and an International Diplomat from American International College.

John Phelan

Phelan is currently the assistant superintendent for curriculum and personnel of the Milton Public Schools in Milton, Massachusetts, a position he has held since 2008. He served as the assistant principal of the Pierce Middle School in Milton, from 1998 until 2002. Phelan was promoted to principal of the Peirce Middle School in 2002, a position he held until becoming the assistant superintendent in 2008. Concurrent with his position of assistant principal, Phelan also served as the Director of Transportation. Prior to his tenure in Milton, Phelan worked in the Boston Public Schools as the assistant principal of the Woodrow Wilson Middle School from 1996 until 1998 and the senior coordinator from 1994 until 1996. Phelan was an adjunct professor in the Certificate of Advanced Educational Studies (CAGS) Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston from 2006 until 2008. He has a bachelor’s degree in science from Suffolk University; a master’s degree in education and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study (Administration) from Bridgewater State College; he is in a doctoral program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston, with an anticipated degree conferral date of June, 2014.

Andrew Stephens

Stephens is presently the principal of Duxbury High School in Duxbury, Massachusetts, a position he has held since 2007. Prior to his tenure in Duxbury, Mr. Stephens was the principal of Memorial Middle School in Hull, Massachusetts from 2006 until 2007 and the assistant principal of Hull High School from 2003-2006. Stephens served in the Newton Public Schools as the Assistant House Master of Newton North High School from 2000 until 2003 and as a Social Studies teacher from 1998 until 2000. Stephens has a bachelor’s degree in history from Colgate University; a master’s degree in education from Johnson State College; a Certificate of Advanced Educational Specialization (CAES) from Boston College; and is enrolled in a doctoral program in Curriculum, Teaching, & Leadership at Northeastern University with an anticipated degree conferral date of May, 2016.

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