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Greenwich Names New Superintendent of Schools

GREENWICH, Conn. – After months of searching, Greenwich Public Schools will have a new superintendent in William McKersie, the Board of Education unanimously voted in a special meeting Wednesday morning.

McKersie, 52, has 30 years of education experience. He is currently the associate superintendent for academic excellence with the Archdiocese of Boston in Braintree, Mass., serving 42,000 students in 122 diverse schools.

“I intend to bring a strong focus on intellectual rigor and ensure that Greenwich is known for providing all students with outstanding college and career preparation. High quality teachers and principals, surrounded by supportive parents and community, are the most essential ingredients for student learning,” McKersie said in a statement.

The search was launched after the unexpected resignation of Sidney Freund last May. Since August, Roger Lulow has filled in as interim superintendent.

The board’s choice comes after a 10-month national search by the firm of Hazard, Young, Attea and Associates . It was charged with holding focus groups of students, parents, faculty and staff; individual interviews; and open community forums throughout January to develop a leadership profile for its search.

The profile identified the attributes desired in the new superintendent, including experienced leadership with a track record of success, a focus on high expectations for student achievement, and a strong communicator who has the ability to inspire trust, build consensus, and be involved in the community and visible in the schools.

The board used input to focus on finding a leader to move the district forward, Board of Education Chairman Leslie Moriarty said in a statement.

"Bill’s knowledge and experience in the educational process, his track record of continuous improvement, and his ability to connect with teachers and administrators will ably guide the district’s efforts to increase achievement for all students,” said Moriarty.

Since he began working for the Archdiocese of Boston in 2008, Moriarty has been responsible for developing a multiyear strategic plan for the private school system. The plan addresses the development of a multiple measurement and standardized assessment systems. It also emphasizes professional learning and a system for developing a new generation of school leaders.

McKersie received a bachelors of arts degree in social psychology from Tufts University in 1981, graduating cum laude. He earned a master's in education from Harvard University in 1986 and a doctorate of philosophy from the University of Chicago in 1997.

McKersie began his career as an admissions officer and faculty member at Northfield Mount Hermon School in Northfield, Mass. In 1986, he became program officer for the Joyce Foundation in Chicago and then the senior program officer in 1989. During this time, he worked with local public and private stakeholders as part of the 1988 Chicago School Reform Act.

From 1990 to 1997, McKersie was an education policy consultant for a variety of educational organizations and commissions. He was also an instructor at the University of Chicago from 1994 to 1995.

In 1997, McKersie became the senior program director for the Cleveland Foundation, where he directed all K-12 and higher education leadership and grant making. He also worked with a public and private board to develop and implement a strategic plan focused on public school reform in the Greater Cleveland schools.

From 2002 to 2004, McKersie led a transformation project of Cleveland Heights High School in Ohio. As the director of the initiative, McKersie guided the process of creating five smaller schools from one large urban high school.

In 2004, McKersie became the associate dean for development and alumni relations for Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. He secured more than $30 million in gifts and pledges, including the school’s largest single gift of $12 million, to support educational research, leadership and policy-making.

McKersie says he, his wife Katherine, and 4-year old daughter “are excited to call Greenwich home for many years to come.”

Check back with TheDailyGreenwich.com to see what McKersie is planning for the Greenwich Public Schools district.

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