Please join us in welcoming these newest educational leaders to Brookline. Some are current staff members who have assumed a new position while others are brand new to our district. Welcome to all!
The School Committee welcomed new administrators at their first meeting of the 2019-2020 School Year on Thursday, September 12. (From Left to Right: Torrance Lewis, Marisel Figueroa-Marrero, John Andrews, Erin Burke, Emily Speck, Erin Hurney, Interim Superintendent Lummis)
John Andrews: Coordinator of Grade 9-12 English Before becoming Coordinator of the High School English department, John served as a teacher in the department for 18 years. As a master teacher, experienced mentor, and strong team leader/facilitator, John has undertaken many leadership roles over the years. He started and ran the BHS Writing Center from 2011 to 2015; he has served as a mentor to 2nd and 3rd year teachers since 2015; he was a teacher leader for the Tripod Project; and he received the Brookline Education Foundation’s (BEF) Caverly Award in 2013.In addition to his teaching responsibilities, John is a writing coach for the BEF’s Margaret Metzger Fellowship through which teachers from across the district reflect on and write about Lives in the Classroom.
Before coming to Brookline, John was a teacher and department chair at the Bell Multicultural High School in Washington, DC. He earned his undergraduate degree at Williams College and his Master of Arts in Teaching English at Brown.
Erin Burke: Vice Principal at Coolidge Corner SchoolErin comes to Brookline after serving for 16 years in the Wilmington Public Schools, including 5 years as Assistant Principal, 3 years as Director of the district’s early childhood center and several years as a grade 5 classroom teacher and as a special education teacher in the district’s early childhood center. As Assistant Principal, she oversaw three district-developed substantially separate special education programs for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Social/Emotional Disabilities and Language Based Learning Disabilities. She also worked closely with the school’s Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) team. She earned her undergraduate degree at Stonehill College, her Masters in Special Education from Lesley University, and completed the Principal/Assistant Principal certificate program through Endicott College.
Marisel Figueroa-Marrero, Associate Dean at Brookline High School Marisel most recently worked at the Dearborn STEM Academy in Dorchester as the Coordinator of Student Support for students in grades 6-12. As part of this work she led restorative circles to address interpersonal conflict among students and build relationships between peers.
Prior to working at Dearborn STEM, Marisel was the Director of Guidance Counseling at Another Course to College, a rigorous college preparatory high school, where she helped to create and implement a whole school crisis intervention protocol in addition to providing direct social, personal and academic support to students.
Marisel also has experience as a Mental Health Clinician and a Family Clinician. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Boston University, a Master’s of Science in Mental Health Counseling and a Master’s of Science in Criminal Justice from Suffolk University, and a CAGS in School Counseling through the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Erin Hurney: Early Childhood Program Coordinator Erin began working for Brookline in 2016, first as a home visitor in the Parent Child Home Program (PCHP) and subsequently as the Coordinator of the PCHP program and the Facilitator of Community Family Engagement. She has 15 years of experience working with families and students in early childhood programs and special education settings.Throughout all of her work the needs of families have been at the forefront. In her new role as Early Childhood Coordinator, she will continue to tackle some of our most important district goals such as equal opportunity for all families, best practices in early childhood instruction, and creating a positive school culture and climate.Erin earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Massachusetts Boston, her Master’s in Education at Boston College, and a Certificate in Advancement of Education Studies from BC.
Torrance Lewis: Principal of Baker School Torrance brings 19 years of experience in elementary education, middle-level instruction, curriculum and instruction, and educational leadership to his role as principal of Baker School.
Most recently, Torrance was Head of the Upper School and Assistant Principal at the Chenery Middle School in Belmont, leading over 700 students. At Chenery, he implemented a Child Study process, helped to develop a Curriculum Accommodation Plan for the school, and coordinated a school-wide Cultural Proficiency initiative.
He also served as the assistant principal of the Cyrus Peirce Middle School on Nantucket, was the Elementary Child Study Chair at the International School of Curitiba, in Brazil, and was a teacher and coordinator of the Learning Center Program at the Jonas Clarke Middle School (Lexington), an academic intervention program for at-risk general education students. Torrance earned his undergraduate degree at Georgia Tech, his Master of Arts in Teaching from Emory University, and a Masters in Organizational Management/Curriculum and Instruction from Endicott College.
Gabe McCormick: Coordinator of K-8 Social Studies Before accepting this new position, Gabe served for 5 years as our Director of Professional Development. With a focus on high quality professional learning, Gabe oversaw the district’s orientation, mentoring and induction programs for early career teachers and administrators, and spearheaded the district’s all-staff professional learning days focused on equity and antiracism. He will bring his experience balancing the big picture while simultaneously maintaining a strong commitment to individual support for educators into his new role. Before Brookline, Gabe was a high school teacher and instructional mentor in the Bellevue School District in Washington State. Gabe earned his undergraduate degree at Oberlin College and his Master’s in Teaching at the University of Washington.
Emily Speck: Coordinator of K-8 Science Emily comes to us from the Cambridge Public Schools where she served as the district’s Science Instructional Coach, designing district-wide science curriculum using Understanding by Design principles and implementing professional development to support the roll out of the new curriculum.
Before her work in Cambridge, Emily was a science specialist at the Manning School (Boston) developing lessons and accommodations for inclusion science classes. She also worked at the Codman Academy Charter Public School (Boston), serving as a Chemistry and Biology teacher and as the Department and Grade Team Chair responsible for formulating strategies to provide the highest quality science education across all grades.
Emily earned her undergraduate degree at Williams College and her Master of Arts in Teaching at Tufts University. She is presently enrolled in the principal and supervisor licensure program at Curry College.
Jenee Uttaro: Dean of Old Lincoln School Jenee has been at Brookline High School since 2007, starting as an English teacher. She served as the Program Director for the Content Reading Initiative at BHS, overseeing teacher teams in investigating and implementing disciplinary reading strategies. Jenee still supports the Program Administrator of the Literacy Project at BHS, a literacy recovery curriculum for students of color, second-language learners, and students from low-income homes.In June 2016, Jenee became the Dean of Faculty at BHS. In this role, she served as the point of alignment for professional learning activities, including those of race and equity, and supported the Head of School in school vision and improvement planning.
In her new role as the Dean of Old Lincoln School, Jenee will lead Brookline High School’s ninth grade program and location. She will serve as the dean for many ninth graders and will team with our associate deans and student support personnel to monitor and support students academically and socio-emotionally. Jenee earned both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education in Literacy degrees at Boston College, and her Master of Education in Educational Leadership at Endicott College.
Regina Watts: Principal of Early Education Regina joined the Public Schools of Brookline in 1989 and for the past 30 years she has served as a school psychologist, education team facilitator, and, since 2014, as the BEEP program coordinator. She has already begun a seamless transition to her new role as Principal of Early Education.
Regina approaches all of her work through the lens of child development, weighing multiple perspectives in her steadfast commitment to supporting families and children as they navigate through our early childhood programs. She has been a leader, working hand-in-hand with our exceptional team of early childhood educators to continue strengthening Brookline’s trailblazing early education program.
Regina earned her undergraduate degree at Iona College, and her Masters and Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania.