By Melissa Moore-Randall
Revere Public School Assistant Superintendent Richie Gallucci, a self-proclaimed shy kid from Oak Island, is today part of a four-person team, along with Superintendent Dr. Dianne Kelly, Assistant Superintendents Danielle Mokaba and Dr. Lourenco Garcia that collaborates on a regular basis to help support and lead the Revere Public Schools and its nearly 8,000 students.
Gallucci, 42, grew up on Oak Island Street in Revere, with his mom and brother Danny (a Math teacher at the Susan B. Anthony), in close proximity to many members of his mother’s family.
“My mother, Patty Flynn, was the rock in our family. She epitomized what hard work, character, and values are all about. She constantly stressed the importance of education and never let us become complacent with our performance in the classroom—a B+ or A- on our report card always had the potential to become an A with a little additional effort and focus. My mom pushed us in all aspects of life, never allowing us to give up on an endeavor without “seeing things through,” with a maximum effort and all potential solutions exhausted. I am forever grateful for the upbringing I had with my mom and her brothers and sisters.”
When speaking of his upbringing, Richie also has high praise for his teachers throughout his years in the Revere Public School system.
“I am also grateful for all of the amazing educators that I had as a student in the Revere Public School system. There are so many teachers that had a positive impact on my life—from Ms. Yanow in elementary school to Ms. Rega in junior high to Ms. Tye in high school (to name just a few). Looking back, I am amazed at how their work extended beyond academics, as they were pioneers of the social emotional learning concept long before it was ever named. Not only did they support academic endeavors, they also took the time with their students to build confidence, self-esteem, and compassion. As an incredibly shy student throughout much of my elementary schooling, I was always appreciative of their work and it empowered me to take more risks as I grew older in my education.”
Richie attended the Paul Revere School, Beachmont School, and Revere High School where he was a 1996 graduate. In addition, he has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Massachusetts at Boston, an MBA from Suffolk University, a CAGS from Salem State College, and a Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts at Boston.
In addition to his role as Assistant Superintendent, his most important role in life is being the biggest fan to his three children, Karly, 12, Drew, 11, and Cameron, 7, with his wife, Kerry, who is a Guidance Counselor at the Susan B. Anthony Middle School.
“Currently, my main hobby is to serve as my kids’ biggest fan. I love watching them engage in the extra-curricular activities that they have grown to love during their early childhood. My daughter loves art, softball, and gymnastics, while my boys play baseball, football, and hockey. I like to help out with coaching when time permits, but I believe that the experience is often more meaningful when the coach is someone other than me. I really enjoy watching them engage and compete in the activities that they love, but more importantly hope that they are learning valuable life lessons that will stay with them forever. “
His rise to the position of Assistant Superintendent started as an English Language Learner teacher at the Susan B. Anthony Middle School.
“I am always appreciative that an ELL classroom was my first experience in teaching, as it taught me a great deal about barriers that can exist in the educational process. More importantly, it forced me to think creatively in order to develop supports, solutions, and personalized lessons to meet the needs of my students. I quickly learned that the best educational experience for each and every one of my kids was not a one-size-fits-all plan.” In addition, he also taught English Language Arts at the Susan B. Anthony Middle School and Garfield Middle School, grades 6, 7, and 8. “As an ELA teacher, I brought my passion for writing to my middle school classes, as we often wrote together as a class, just as much as we read. After six years of teaching, I was named the Garfield Middle School Literacy Coach. I am incredibly proud of our team’s work and accomplishments during these two years where our students made incredible strides in both reading and writing. Middle school writing can be a challenging endeavor and our team’s ability to engage, guide, and support our students is something that has always inspired me in my subsequent roles in the district. Beyond our academic success, what I appreciate most is how much I learned as a visiting coach to my fellow colleagues’ classrooms. Their dedication, creativity, and innovation was incredible, and forever influenced my outlook on teaching and learning. In 2013, I was named Principal of the Rumney Marsh Academy. As the leader of the building, I once again was able to learn and grow alongside some amazing colleagues. I value each experience in my journey to this position—without these stops along the way, I know that I would not be sitting here in the position of Assistant Superintendent.”
Gallucci credits his wide range of experience as why he chose to apply for the Assistant Superintendent position.
“I thought I was a strong match for this position because of the range of experience I had as a teacher, coach, and principal in our school district. As a classroom teacher, I always had incredibly strong relationships with my counseling colleagues, nurses, and other building staff. I quickly realized how crucial these relationships were in providing holistic support that focused on my students’ social and emotional well-being. I had a wealth of experience in the field of special education, not only as an inclusion co-teacher and coach, but also as the principal of a middle school building staffed to provide support to our high needs students. I have been fortunate enough to work with talented members of our special education staff, particularly our teachers and assistant directors of special education. Overall, in my six years as the leader of a school building, I was able to gain a greater appreciation and understanding of how all members of our school community work to make our system run effectively. It literally takes each and every person in our district community to build a strong culture and environment for our students. That is the vision that I bring to this position and it is this belief that inspired me to pursue the opportunity.”
Gallucci acknowledged that the first year in any new position is challenging, however being hired in the middle of a pandemic took the sentiment to a new level.
“I know that I am certainly not alone in this challenge. Everyone in our community, even those that have been in their current position for years, has had to change and adapt to the unbelievable circumstances that we have experienced for almost a year now. The most immediate challenge in my current role is to ensure that I am up to date with the most recent health and safety information as it relates to Covid-19. Perhaps more importantly, it is my responsibility to ensure that this information is being disseminated to our district community in a timely and helpful manner. My greatest partners in this effort have been the medical professionals and school personnel that have served the greater Revere community beyond our school walls. Our school nurses have been phenomenal in working with staff, colleagues, and families to ensure that they are fully supported during this unprecedented time. They have been instrumental in providing individual support, vaccination clinics, and outreach services for members of our community. I am in constant contact with Jessica Gagnon, our lead nurse, to ensure that we are up to date and communicating pertinent information with our staff on a regular basis. Adrienne Maguire, the school nurse at Beachmont Elementary and SeaCoast High School, has set up multiple flu clinics for Revere families to ensure that the flu vaccine and other vaccinations were accessible for residents. Dr. Nathalee Kong, Chair of the Revere Board of Health, has been amazing in every way possible. Not only has she provided continuous medical guidance and support for our city, school district, and residents, she has led a number of webinars and town halls for our district’s staff and families. Lauren Buck, the Director of Revere’s Department of Public Health, has been another great support for our process, establishing one of the early Covid-19 vaccine clinics for first responders in Revere and neighboring cities and towns. As a result of her work in setting this clinic up at the Rumney Marsh Academy, we now have a vaccine format that we can utilize when we are able to provide the vaccine for educators. In addition to medical professionals, our HART Team has continued their outstanding outreach work to families in need. Our Dining Services team has continued their dedicated work throughout the pandemic, providing multiple food distributions for families since the day we shifted to remote learning. Members of our Transportation department, working in conjunction with our Dining Services team, have stepped up to unfamiliar roles to streamline our distribution of food to improve accessibility for families. While it has certainly been challenging, I am incredibly grateful for the team camaraderie and effort in supporting members of our community.”
Gallucci noted the restrictions resulting from the pandemic as the most difficult part of his job. “I think the most difficult aspect this year is the inability to interact with students and staff on an interpersonal basis. I miss working, chatting, and communicating with my fellow colleagues and students firsthand. In a typical first year in this role, I imagine that I would have been visiting schools and classrooms on a regular basis to get to know students, staff, and families. These types of interactions cannot obviously happen at this moment, but my hope is that it will happen in the near future as we get closer to the light at the end of this tunnel.”
Challenges aside, Gallucci sees many rewarding aspects of his new position. “I am inspired each day in working with the administrative leaders in our district, starting with Dr. Kelly and her incredible work ethic and resolve in doing what is best for our kids. I have already learned so much from Dr. Kelly, Dr. Mokaba, and Dr. Garcia. The building principals, assistant principals, and directors have redefined what leadership is all about during this pandemic. They have spent countless hours in planning and preparing for a return to in-person learning since August, ensuring that we are ready to open our doors when the time arrives. Even when these plans have not come to fruition, they have maintained their resolve, applying creativity, innovation, and an unwavering commitment to their planning process. Our custodial and maintenance staff have kept our buildings safe and clean, adhering to the latest guidelines while also working to set up isolated portions of our school buildings for clinics or childcare. Our translators and Parent Information Center have worked tirelessly to ensure effective communication with all of our community members. Our administrative assistants, family liaisons, and security personnel have engaged in continuous outreach to individual families. Our office personnel has continued their hard work throughout the course of the pandemic. Our Technology department has not only been able to ready devices for thousands of students, they have continued their support for our staff, while also providing additional support for remote students and family members. And our teaching staff, paraprofessionals, related service providers, coaches and counselors have literally redefined their approach to working with our kids in trying to provide the very best education possible in a full remote setting. This is the most rewarding aspect of my job—the fact that I get to work with every colleague, in every department, across our district. Through these experiences, I am constantly gaining a better understanding and appreciation for all of the work and accomplishments that my colleagues achieve on a regular basis. During this unprecedented pandemic, it has been amazing to watch so many people step up to provide education, services, and support for our students, staff, and families. It is certainly something that I will never forget in my lifetime.”
When asked if he had any aspirations beyond being Assistant Superintendent, Gallucci is focused on this year. “I feel like I cannot even think beyond this year. I am very happy in my current role and that is my sole focus right now. This year has been quite the challenge, but I know that we are going to be better and stronger from it. I never know what the future will bring, but I have a great sense of pride in serving as Assistant Superintendent for the city in which I grew up and I am very excited for all that comes with this responsibility,” he said.