The School Committee was expected to pass a motion late Tuesday (after Journal deadlines) that would call for the Committee to begin contract negotiations with Dianne Kelly to make her the next superintendent of the Revere Public Schools.
Kelly is currently the assistant superintendent behind Supt. Paul Dakin, who announced late last year that he will retire this coming December. Kelly has been the leading candidate and did submit to an interview with the School Committee at Mayor Dan Rizzo’s office in early January.
Since that time, the search process has been on hold as the Committee figures out what it wants to do relative to other in-district candidates – as well as what it wants to do to fill Kelly’s assistant superintendent job if she were to successfully negotiate a superintendent’s contract.
Dakin said he fully supported the move to begin negotiations with Kelly and believe she would make a great next superintendent.
“I’m hoping they do push out the motion [Tuesday night] to the Committee to begin discussing contract terms with Dr. Kelly,” he said. “I see it as a natural next step in the process that could conclude in April or May.”
School Committee member Carol Tye – a former Revere superintendent – said she supported moving to negotiate with Kelly.
“Although Paul Dakin is such an excellent leader and it will be very hard to fill his shoes, if anyone can do it, Dianne Kelly can,” she said. “She has been mentored by Dr. Dakin and is an outstanding educator in her own right. I am certain she’ll be a successful superintendent.”
If Kelly does indeed ink a contract to become the next superintendent, she would likely finish negotiations in April or May and start on July 1. From that time until December, she would be under the direct mentorship of Dakin in what the Committee sees as a very valuable transition period.
Both Dakin and Tye pointed out that an overlapping transition goes back to former Supt. Bill Hill, who brought in Supt. Rocco Malfitano long before he actually departed the job. That overlap was crucial in giving Malfitano a head start.
Tye said she also benefitted from an overlapping transition period years ago when she took the helm. Likewise, she also overlapped in transition between herself and Dakin.
“It’s the way it has been done in the past several times and that approach hasn’t failed the School Committee yet,” said Dakin. Kelly is from Dorchester and began her teaching career at Savio Prep as a math teacher/director. Through MaryEllen Dakin – a teacher at Savio – she met Paul Dakin, who was then working in the Revere Public Schools. Dakin began mentoring her at that point, and Kelly eventually landed a job in the Revere Schools in 1995. She has taught in the Revere Schools for 20 years and has been an assistant superintendent since 2010.