After an outstanding tenure in the Revere school district that began in 1999, Assistant Superintendent of Schools Dr. Josh Vadala is stepping down to take a new position in Peabody.
Vadala, who has been a dedicated teacher and administrator in the system, has been appointed the superintendent of Peabody public schools. He will begin in his new position on July 1.
Vadala, 43, holds undergraduate and master’s degrees from Boston College and received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from UMass/Lowell.
He worked in Revere for the first five years of his career in education. He took a teaching position at Westford Academy for six years before returning to Revere for the past decade. He began in Revere as a math teacher at SeaCoast Academy. In 2010, he became the team chairperson for special education at Revere High School. He was the assistant principal at the Whelan School for five years before serving as acting principal. He has been the assistant superintendent of schools since 2016, working with Supt. of Schools Dr. Dianne Kelly.
“Dr. Kelly has been an incredible mentor and I’ve just learned so much,” said Vadala. “I’m so fortunate that I’ve been able to learn and grow as a professional. I just can’t say enough about the innovation and the collaboration that happens in Revere. I certainly would not have been prepared to take on the role of superintendent if it wasn’t for the wonderful people that I’ve worked with throughout my career in Revere.”
Dr. Kelly, who with Vadala and other administrators has maintained Revere’s status as a national model for urban school districts, praised her colleague’s contributions to the school system.
“We are very sad to see Dr. Vadala but he is more than ready for his next step in his career,” said Dr. Kelly. “He has been an incredible influence on the Revere Public Schools throughout his tenure here. From Seacoast to the Whelan to special education programs across the district, Dr. Vadala has shaped our programs and helped focus our work around the individual needs of students. His expertise will be missed but we are thankful that we will still be able to call on him as a colleague, a neighbor, and a friend.”
Vadala said the current COVID-19 global pandemic that has closed Revere schools for year has made it an unusual ending to his career in the city.
“It certainly has been unusual, but I think the teachers and administrators in Revere have just been incredible during this whole pandemic,” said Vadala. “We’ve been getting things done daily through virtual means, whether it’s Zoom or email and other conferencing, and our teachers and administrators have been so great supporting our families, our students, and each other and I can’t say enough about this city.
“And Mayor Arrigo and his staff have been incredible. They have been a great partner and worked so well together,” continued Vadala. “It’s really a model the way they collaborate between police and fire and the first responders and the city with the school district. It’s really one cohesive model.”
Vadala said what’s really impressive about the Revere school district “is the collaboration that happens between the teachers and the administration – they’ve just really had a longstanding tradition from Carol Tye to Paul Dakin to Dianne Kelly as the superintendents – they’ve really set the stage of this culture of collaboration, culture of high expectations, and really supporting teachers and administrators to work together and have everybody on the same page working to do what’s best for kids. Having that consistency and longevity in that transition has really helped put Revere on the map as far as education goes.”
Vadala also credited the Revere athletic program for “incredible fall and winter seasons.”
Vadala will preside over a Peabody school system that has 6,000 students attending eight elementary schools, one middle school, and one comprehensive high school.
“I’m really excited but it’s bittersweet for me,” said Vadala. “I feel like I grew up in Revere as a professional. I started right out of college at 22. I’m very grateful for all the relationships I built with not only the staff, but with the families and the community. I feel I came in not really knowing anyone in Revere and I was just embraced by all the people in the city. I will always be grateful for my time in Revere. I will cherish the friendship and the relationships I had along the way.”
Vadala and his wife, Courtney, have lived in Peabody for 10 years. They have three daughters, Ryleigh, Addison, and Kamryn, who are students in the Peabody elementary schools and participate in sports.