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LYNN – The school committee voted unanimously on Thursday evening for the appointment of three new principals in the district by headmaster Dr. Patrick Tutwiler.
This includes Fred Gallo at Lynn Vocational Technical Institute (LVTI), Dr. John Braga at English High and Jessica Ekhomu at Hood Elementary.
All principles were selected in a rigorous, multi-step process described by Tutwiler, which consists of several candidates for each position.
Gallo will replace Carissa Karakaedos, who has been the headmistress since 2018 and is moving to another state.
Gallo spent 32 years as an educator at LVTI, starting out as a bilingual teacher speaking both English and Spanish and focusing on science and math.
He then switched to teaching physics before becoming a career counselor five years later. Gallo served as a counseling teacher for 16 years before being appointed assistant principal in 2015.
The Lynn Public Schools (LPS) website states that Gallo âworked closely with the principal to develop his leadership skills in several innovative programs, and recently graduated from the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators Leadership Academy.
“Mr. Gallo’s enthusiasm for continuous improvement and innovation at LVTI is evident through the process,” said LPS. “This commitment is coupled with a deep belief that the students come first and recognize the collaboration and voice in any change or improvement effort.”
Gallo holds a bachelor’s degree in science education from Boston University, a master’s degree in educational administration from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and a master’s in school counseling from Salem State; Gallo is also fluent in Spanish. He will take up his position as headmaster on July 1, 2021.
Braga will replace Tessie Mower at English, who was an actor in the 2020/21 school year.
Braga, who speaks Portuguese and Spanish, began her training as an English teacher at the Mario Umana Academy School in Boston and also taught English at East Boston High School.
Braga held many leadership roles as director of English learning services and district-level supplementary programs before returning to building-based leadership roles in Boston and most recently in Somerville.
“He was instrumental in making improvements to the schools where he previously worked,” said LPS. “In each of the experiences, according to Dr. Braga is a concerted effort to bring the community together for a common purpose. ”
LPS said Braga’s experience and focus on collaboration, teaching leadership, tiered support systems and cultural education were markers that made him an attractive candidate.
Braga holds a bachelor’s degree in English from Stetson University, a Masters of Education from Lesley, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study from Fitchburg State University, and a PhD in Education from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell. He will take up his position as headmaster on July 6, 2021.
Ekhomu will replace Shirley Albert-Benedict at Hood, who was an actor in the 2020/21 school year.
Ekhomu began her career as a 5th grade teacher at Boston Public Schools and quickly rose to a senior educational leadership role as a senior teacher.
Ekhomu has been accepted into prestigious leadership scholarships, including the Curate Fellowship and the Lynch Leadership Academy.
She was also a fellow at Josiah Quincy Elementary School and then as assistant principal at Tobin K through eighth grade.
“During the interview process, Ms. Ekhomu demonstrated exceptional teaching skills,” said LPS. “In both her experience and her responses to questions, she demonstrated a deep understanding of how to analyze data and translate that understanding into a strategy that improves student outcomes.”
LPS also said that Ekhomu has imparted remarkable skills and experience in building and maintaining a collaborative, inclusive school culture.
Ekhomou holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s in public health from Georgia and a master’s in curriculum and teaching from Boston University. She will take up her position as headmistress on July 1, 2021.
“Each of these managers brings experience, in-depth teaching knowledge and proven collaboration to achieve a common result,” said Tutwiler.
Mayor Thomas M. McGee congratulated the three principals, saying he looked forward to their tour and was “happy to have them on board”.
Allysha Dunnigan can be reached at [email protected]
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