Dr. Stefanie Reinhorn hired as Assistant Superintendent

This week, finalist Dr. Stefanie Reinhorn was officially approved as Assistant Superintendent of Northborough and Southborough Public Schools.

Reinhorn, an educational leadership consultant out of Harvard University, has worked with the district over the past three years. On Wednesday night, Superintendent Gregory Martineau recommended her to the combined school committees. 

Referring to the complexity of three districts with three budgets and grants, Martineau told the committees:

Dr. Reinhorn knows what our district is about and she brings a wealth of expertise in terms of teaching and learning, systems thinking, and how to bring initiatives system wide to fruition.

Among the qualities HR Director Heather Richards said search committees were looking for were innovative, life long learner, and student centric decision maker.  Northborough and Regional Committee member Joan Frank also noted that skills looked for included understanding curriculum, awareness of current practices, cultural awareness, and ability to inspire staff. The focus appears consistent with Martineau’s reference this spring to the Assistant Superintendent as now equivalent to some districts’ Director of Curriculum.*

Reinhorn was one of two finalists recommended by the screening committee, winnowed down from 50 applicants. The other finalist dropped out last week before a committee interviewed her last week.

On Monday morning, the public had the opportunity to join a webinar with Reinhorn. During the conference, Southborough’s Paul Butka asked Reinhorn about time commitment involved if she keeps her chair position at Harvard. She reassured that it isn’t a teaching position and won’t require much of her time going forward. She reiterated on Wednesday night that she has an outstanding commitment for one 5-day program postponed from this spring. Butka told fellow committee members on Wednesday that he was comfortable with her full commitment to the time consuming job.

On Wednesday, Regional member Kathleen Howland referred to the Music Study Group and asked Reinhorn to give her views on arts education. Reinhorn reassured that she understood the importance. She spoke of the need for schools to focus on “the whole child” including social/emotiona learning, various subjects, and the arts. She supported the need to be looking at the opportunities offered and ensuring there is parity across districts.

Frank shared a highlight from the Superintendent’s Advisory panel not covered in the public session. She recapped that Reinhorn outlined 5 things to look at for effective preK-12 classes: 

  1. the role of students in the learning
  2. students’ constructive learning
  3. classroom should be an active environment
  4. kids should feel safe in classroom (not just physically, but emotionally – willing to raise their hands)
  5. all levels of students should be active learners

Following her unanimous approval, Reinhorn thanked members for the opportunity. She’s been impressed by the district and looking forward to learning more from and working with folks. She also noted appreciation for current interim Asst. Superintendent Rhoda Webb who she has worked closely with. With Webb’s and Martineau’s mentorship, she’ll be able to build off the great work that Webb has been doing. (Webb will be returning to her prior role as Director of English Language Education.

*Martineau referenced a restructuring of the head office that former Superintendent Christine Johnson laid out before her retirement.

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