By Josh Resnek
Everett’s newly minted superintendent of schools Priya Tahiliani has negotiated a contract with the School Committee and signed the contract at Tuesday’s meeting held at Everett High School.
She will take her new post on March 1, according to School Committeeman Frank Parker.
While the contract has been conditionally approved, there remains to be detailed exactly what perks Tahiliani will receive as part of her employment.
It is expected she will be negotiating vacation, and all other relevant contract components that relate to her employment here.
The four year contract guarantees Tahiliani at least $820,000 to lead the Everett Public Schools into a brave new world.
Her salary is in line with those paid in communities neighboring Everett.
Tahiliani was an entrepreneur of sorts during her tenure as an assistant superintendent of the Boston Public Schools.
One of her specialties was the personal touch with parents and students.
She met with thousands of both during her tenure in Boston.
She is expected to do the same here.
There remains the unanswered question about whether or not she will attempt to create her own leadership team in order to form a cohesive force to advocate for needed changes in the way business is done and education modalities are determined in Everett.
Should she attempt to do this, it is not known how exactly she would go about it.
Tahiliani, who began her career in education as a teacher, has the tacit support of the School Department’s 600 teachers.
“The time is right for someone of her understanding and boldness. She knows what she’s doing. She is extremely bright and assertive. Everett will be in good hands for the next four years,” said a School Department source who wished to remain unnamed.
Tahiliani faces an uphill battle with a student body that finds thousands of students with English as a second language, who come from single parent homes, who are economically struggling and in many cases who are deprived.
Lower reading scores remain a chronic problem system wide.
She is inheriting a school system known to give many students of color and ethnicity the advantage over those going to public schools in surrounding communities.
The Boston Globe recently published an article detailing how Everett’s public schools prepare students for a better future than most school systems like it in Massachusetts.
The school population is largely minority – and as a minority herself – Tahiliani is expected to expand broadly the School Department’s mission to tailor education to the needs of its population.