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City of Malden News

Posted on: January 8, 2021

Malden Announces Superintendent Search Committee

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The Malden School Committee has begun it’s search for the next Superintendent of the Malden Public Schools. At their public meeting on November 23, the committee enlisted the Collins Center for Public Management of UMASS Boston to facilitate the search process, and Mayor Gary Christenson in his capacity as Chair of the Malden School Committee appointed two School Committee members, Jennifer Spadafora and Adam Weldai to co-chair the Superintendent Screening Committee. In an effort to make the committee more transparent and reflective of the wider Malden population, three parent representatives were chosen by lottery, as well as one teacher representative and one paraprofessional representative. Co-Chairs Spadafora and Weldai are pleased to share the additional 15 members of the committee with the community (listed alphabetically). We are appreciative that they have offered to volunteer their time to serve our community, and are pleased to be serving with a panel more inclusive and aligned with the diversity and range of stakeholders in the Malden Public Schools than in the past. 

  • Heather Barry is a 20-year Malden resident and has a 14-year old in Special Education.  She is the Associate Director of the Institute for Global Leadership at Tufts University, and also serves on the Malden Reads steering committee and the Malden Youth Soccer Board.
  • Kevin Brill is an educator with over 30 years experience in urban education, currently serving as a Head of School in Boston. He has experience in teaching Math, Science and Technology and values real world learning opportunities. In his leadership roles he has had experience with school based technology and information systems, budget and staffing, facilities management and faculty professional development. He is a parent of a Malden High graduate and current sophomore.  
  • Rebekah Brooks and her husband have been Malden residents for the past 8 years and their daughter, Cadence, is 4.5 years old. She attended the ELC last year and will enter kindergarten next year. Her daughter has special health needs, requiring a 504 plan and potentially a future IEP to meet her needs, so special education is a priority for her family. In addition to being a special needs mom, Rebekah is also a public school teacher in a nearby district where she teaches high school English, so she is thankful for the opportunity to offer her perspective on this committee as both an educator and a parent.
  • Donald Concannon is the Principal of the Forestdale School. A lifetime educator, Don earned his Bachelor’s degree from Boston State College and his Master’s Degree from Cambridge College, and started his career in the Everett Public Schools as a teacher for 16 years before becoming a Dean of Students and Assistant Principal at Everett High School for 14 years. Don served as head boys varsity ice hockey coach as well as head varsity coach of both boys and girls soccer teams while in Everett, and is a proud member of the Massachusetts High School Hockey Coaches Hall of Fame. He has been principal of the Forestdale School for the past 8 years, and is in active leader and advocate for Malden students and staff. 
  • Erin Craven is the Malden Public Schools' Director of Guidance, Testing & Academic Support. She began her time as a formal educator 20 years ago, teaching English and Spanish. She was then a graduate teaching fellow in Cultural Diversity at Plymouth State University, before becoming a school counselor at Malden High School in 2006. After 12 years as a school counselor at MHS, she became director of the school counseling department in 2018 - advocating for students, families, school counseling and academic support at a district-wide level. 
  • Isabel Delacruz is a full-time working mom of two boys (2nd and 7th graders) and full time graduate student. She works with children with special needs, volunteers as a special needs advocate, is currently part of the Beebe PTO, and is a substitute at our Early Learning Center. Advocating that culturally and linguistically diverse families can feel welcomed and heard in the Malden Public Schools is her passion and she hopes to bring not only her training but life experience to work with the committee to find the superintendent that Malden families need. 
  • Deborah Gesualdo currently serves as President of the Malden Education Association and the East Region Director of the National Council of Urban Education Associations. She began her career in the Malden Public Schools as a Music Educator in 2004. Deb’s passions both professionally and personally include closing the opportunity gap for traditionally disenfranchised groups, creating racially and socially just schools and working environments, and working toward housing justice for all.
  • Kate Greco has worked for Malden Public Schools since 2006. She began as a third grade teacher at the Ferryway School from August 2006 through July 2014. She then became an Assistant Principal at the Beebe School in July 2014 and has been there since, working mainly with kindergarten through fourth grade students, staff, and families. She holds licenses in Elementary Education, English as a Second Language, Moderate Disabilities, and Principal/Assistant Principal. 
  • Jennifer Hedrington has been teaching math for 16 years (11 years in Malden - previously at the Salemwood School, currently at the Ferryway School). She teaches in color through the lenses of LOVE to help ensure all her students become "successful" once they leave her classroom. Jennifer was recently recognized as the 2021 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year. 
  • Susan Nylen is a Malden homeowner and mother of four MPS graduates (all educated at the Ferryway and Malden High School). She is a proud member of Unit C, currently in her 17th year of employment with the Malden Public Schools, working as a special education paraprofessional since 2005. 
  • Birukti Tsige is a Malden resident who's attended MPS since elementary school and currently has two siblings also attending Ferryway and Malden High. She's currently a pre-med sophomore at Harvard College, was previously co-founder and president of Malden Youth Civics Council and president of National Honors Society among many other clubs during her time at MHS. She spends her breaks reaching out to Malden High students, especially seniors to work through their essays and help them through the college application process; over all, she's heavily invested in the wellbeing and progress of Malden students and the Malden community. 
  • Jessica Vasquez is a mother of two, one of which is a 3rd grader at the Ferryway School. She has been serving as the President of the PTO at the Ferryway School for the past 2.5 years. Jessica has an associate's degree in Elementary Education, is active in our community, and driven by a commitment to equity and a love for the MPS and the Malden community as a whole.
  • Amine Yakine joined the faculty of the History Department at MHS in 2018. Amine holds a B.S from Boston University and MEd from Gordon College and I am a proud product of the American immigrant experience. Prior to joining MHS, Amine taught and served in Salem Public Schools for 3 years as teacher leader. As a faculty member of color, he is passionate about quality democratic public education, abolitionist teaching, pedagogy of liberation, equity and justice, anti-racism and truth and reconciliation. Amine believes in educating the whole child/student by empowering students to think for themselves and succeed in school and life. Amine is a strong advocate for closing the equity and funding gaps especially for dark students and poor communities in this commonwealth. 
  • Billy Zeng is a Malden High School senior who is interested in studying the intersections between education, neuroscience, and civic engagement. As a Maldonian, Zeng started to branch out in his community by joining the Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition’s board of directors this past year. He is the founder and a lead organizer of MHS Students for Racial Equity, a newly-formed student group dedicated to providing MHS students with a space to organize around issues regarding equity and inclusion. 

The City of Malden has posted and is in the process of hiring their Coordinator of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and upon completion that individual will also be participating in the initial screening and interviews for the Superintendent of Schools position. 

For more information, please visit or email


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