By John Monfredo, Worcester Public School Committee
This week the Worcester School Committee, as part of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education evaluation process, submitted our end-of-the-cycle evaluations of WPS Superintendent Maureen Binienda based on her goals, performance and the state’s Model Rubric process.
Her evaluation from all members was summarized by Mayor Petty. The Superintendent came away with high marks from most members, receiving mostly proficient marks for her performance.
Here are some excerpts from my evaluation of the superintendent:
When Superintendent Binienda applied for the position about four years ago, after having been an exemplary principal at South High, in an interview she referred to herself as an “urban warrior,” … an individual who will go above and beyond to educate and support our students. Five years later one can say that she has lived up to that title. In addition, she has continued to do all that she can to make decisions that are in the best interest of ALL students.
This past year our superintendent and her staff had to “step-up” to meet the pandemic crisis and have been important team players with our Mayor and our City Manager. This crisis is new, but the idea of “One City Working Together” to provide the best education for our students has been ongoing during the tenure of Superintendent Binienda.
As part of the evaluation process under instructional leadership, more in-service opportunities have taken place for all staff members. Thanks to her leadership, we were more prepared to fight this pandemic crisis by improving our technology programs.
We have had students engaged in meaningful opportunities in and outside of school.
There has been an expansion of the College and Career Opportunities at the high school level with such programs as an expanded AP Capstone, an expanded College application Celebrity Day, more students received the Seal of Bi-literacy on their diploma, and additional training for students on their PSAT and SAT testing has continued.
Chronic absenteeism has been reduced, as well as suspension rates.
Under Management and Operations, she has placed safety within the schools as a high priority that emphasizes positive relationships, respectful interactions, acceptance and caring for one another. During this pandemic crisis she continues to review and implement changes as to how we can best meet the needs of families. She has brought to the district many nationwide speakers, as the district emphasizes the importance of sharing information with staff on bias, discipline and social and emotional learning.
Family and Community engagement has always been a major strength … throughout her career she has continued to lead by example. The time commitment has been exemplary, for one could see her helping families at Andy’s Attic on a Saturday morning, bringing cheer to our immigrants at various community functions at Adult Learning events, or bringing food to the homeless, families in need and attending student sports or musical events at their schools.
She is a leader who motivates others, is a good listener, and is a skillful communicator. Her qualities of commitment, passion, honesty and integrity make up her character. Many families within the city talk about her passion for education, her high energy, outstanding work ethic and her eagerness to do all that she can to make a difference in the lives of students.
The community has embraced her positive approach to making those difficult decisions daily. Parents have appreciated her commitment in reaching out to them and giving them a chance to articulate their opinions. She has continued to employ strategies to deal with conflict and has constructively worked to resolve problems that have surfaced. As stated, she is a leader with outstanding skills and an independent thinker who puts students first.
In summary, every student deserves a champion, someone who will never give up on them, who understands the importance of connections and is adamant that they will become the best that they can possibly be … Our champion in this community is Superintendent Binienda.