After a weeks-long process, the Lowell Public Schools' Superintendent Blue Ribbon Committee has narrowed 23 candidates to three finalists for the top spot in the Lowell Public Schools.
None works in-district. All have previously served as superintendents.
Joel Boyd, Sergio Paez and Stacy Scott, the former Dracut school superintendent, are the finalists, School Committee member Connie Martin, chair of the Blue Ribbon panel, announced last week. Public interviews of the candidates are tentatively scheduled for the afternoon of May 18.
Resumes submitted by the finalists and released to the School Committee Wednesday night shed further light on the candidates:
: Stacy Scott currently works at both Harvard University and Boston University, though is perhaps best known in this region as the former superintendent in Dracut.
He headed Dracut Public Schools starting in 2010, after serving as associate superintendent at Montgomery County Public Schools.
In 2012 he left the financially struggling district with more than a year left on his three-year contract to take a job at Framingham Public Schools. At the time, a bitter Dracut School Committee accused Scott of contributing to the district's money issues, criticized him for abandoning ship and complained he had not attended several recent community events. At the time, Scott declined to comment to The Valley Dispatch on these criticisms, but said his concern was for the students, not himself.
In Framingham he said he improved test scores, increased community engagement and improved educational systems, including STEM initiatives, according to his resume.
He was employed by Framingham Public Schools until December 2016, but had been on paid leave since July, initially for professional development training, Metrowest Daily News reported. In May of the same year, the School Committee had voted not to extend his contract, according to the article.
Since 2016, Scott has worked as a visiting scholar and project manager at Harvard University, developing web based resources for equity analysis at school districts. He also teachers bachelors and masters courses in strategic planning and educational leadership at Boston University.
For 13 years he worked as director of diversity at The Park School in Brookline. In the 1980s he worked as a board adviser, counselor and teacher at Noble and Greenough School in Dedham.
He has also founded several Boston-based educational organizations, including Global Sustainable, Inc., Center for Understanding Equity and ExecResults Consulting.
: Joel Boyd is currently an academic superintendent at Boston Public Schools tasked with closing "opportunity gaps" through executive coaching and coordinating of support through the district's central office, according to the district's website. He started the position in 2017.
His career has taken him across the nation, including as superintendent of Santa Fe Public Schools from 2012 to 2016. He has also worked in the following districts: School District of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania, Miami-Dade County Public Schools in Miami, Lehigh Valley Academy in Pennsylvania and Smyrna School District in Delaware. His roles included science teacher, principal and assistant superintendent.
In Santa Fe, N.M., tasked with turning around a district, he boosted graduation rates, implemented some progressive programs and increased test scores, but only slightly critics argued, leaving a mixed legacy, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported.
He butted heads with the president of the teachers union who charged his aggressive style and policy changes hurt teacher morale, though some teachers and principals were quoted saying Boyd's style was a positive, in the paper.
He was selected, then dropped out, as a finalist for superintendent in Nashville, according to the Albuquerque Journal. He left his role in Santa Fe for a Senior Vice President of Strategic Accounts at BrightBytes, an analytics and education company in San Francisco.
He has a bachelor's degree from the University of Delaware and Master's of Education from both Wilmington College and Harvard University. He completed a doctorate in education at Harvard University through an urban superintendents program in 2012.
Scott has both a bachelors and masters degree from Harvard University.
: Sergio Paez is currently the director of equity, empowerment and excellence for English learners at Central Falls School District in Central Falls, R.I.
However, much of his employment history is in Massachusetts, including as the superintendent of Holyoke Public Schools.
He started the top job in Holyoke in 2013. When he started the district was being monitored by the state and two of the district's schools had already been taken over by the commonwealth, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. In 2015, while Paez was still superintendent, the entire district went into state receivership and he was removed from his post.
He was hired as a superintendent in Minneapolis, Minn., in 2015, but allegations of abuse against special education students in Holyoke by staff under his leadership collapsed negotiations, causing that offer to fall through, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He denied the allegations.
In 2016 he took a position as Human Resource Director of Leominster Public Schools, a region he was heavily involved in about 10 years prior. According to his resume, he served on a number of boards for organizations in the area including the Fitchburg Art Museum, Mount Wachusett Community College and Twin-Cities Latino Coalition.
In 2018, a new superintendent in Leominster Public Schools cut his position, which had been created when he started the position during a period of turnover in the district.
Paez previously taught at Fitchburg State University and Fitchburg Public Schools, including as a bilingual teacher. He later served in several administrative positions for English language learner services in both Leominster and Worcester.
Paez has a bachelor's degree from Fitchburg State College, now Fitchburg State University. He also has a masters in education from Harvard University and doctorate in education from Boston College.
Follow Elizabeth Dobbins on Twitter @ElizDobbins.