Mayor Michelle Wu today announced the appointment of Dr. Stephen Alkins to the Boston School Board, for a 4-year term. The Boston School Committee is the governing body of Boston’s public schools.
“Dr. Alkins has dedicated his career to bringing about the systemic change needed in this time,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I am thrilled to have him bring his vision and experience to the Boston School Board. His commitment to inclusion and a holistic understanding of education will benefit all families, educators and BPS staff.
“On behalf of the Boston School Committee, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Alkins as a new colleague and thank him for his commitment to serve on this committee,” said Boston School Committee Chairman Jeri Robinson. “He has strong ties within the community and a demonstrated passion for diversity, equity and inclusion and for helping to dismantle systemic inequities so that students can continue to succeed. Dr. Alkins will be a great addition as we strive to ensure that the Boston School Committee represents the diversity of our schools and our city. I look forward to working alongside Dr. Alkins serving students, families, and educators in Boston Public Schools.
“I am delighted to welcome Dr. Alkins to the Boston School Committee and look forward to partnering with him and his fellow members in the important work ahead,” said Superintendent Brenda Cassellius. “Our goal is consistency, transparency and ensuring that our students, families and staff know where we are focusing our efforts. Our practical Dr. Alkins’ experience in the community, as well as his connections to this work will add great value as we seek to manage the global pandemic and support student learning and social-emotional development. »
Stephen D. Alkins, Jr., Ph.D. is the Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (and Belonging) (DEIO) Officer and Co-Chair of the DEI Council of TERC, a nonprofit organization research and development non-profit in STEM education. Under his leadership, Stephen helps develop and implement DEIB’s vision at TERC through his collaboration on the development of NSF STEM education grants in multiple learning environments (informal and formal K-16 spaces year). Its role and responsibilities include recruiting and retaining a diverse research and infrastructure staff, reviewing internal policies, developing and analyzing inclusive educational opportunities and social programs, and establishing collaborative partnerships to promote equity for all STEM learners. It also helps research teams use critical DEIB frameworks (e.g., decolonization, critical race theory, queer theory, social capital theory, etc.) to help dismantle systemic inequalities within STEM education, supporting youth STEM identity development, and engaging and including underrepresented/marginalized communities. in authentic and collaborative research experiences. Finally, he is an accomplished scientist, college and high school teacher, mentor and national Spoken Word/SLAM poet who uses art to diversify participation and enhance understanding of STEM concepts. Stephen earned his BS in Biology from Morehouse College and his MS and PhD. in Cellular Neuroscience from Brandeis University.
“I am thrilled to collaborate with diverse voices advocating for and strategizing for educational equity and building on the valuable insights and contributions of the Boston community,” said Stephen Alkins. “This role requires us to confront difficult issues and conflicts that center Boston students, their families, and our community. Let’s get to work.”
The school committee is responsible for:
- Define the vision, mission, and goals of Boston Public Schools;
- Establish and monitor the annual operating budget;
- Hire, manage and evaluate the superintendent; and
- Define and revise district policies and practices to support student success.
The school committee meets approximately twice a month during the school year to adopt, review, and modify policies and practices that support teaching, learning, and improving student achievement. With the exception of executive sessions, Committee meetings are open to the public, have public comment periods, and are broadcast on Boston City TV.
With Alkins’ appointment, Mayor Wu has another vacancy to fill on the Boston School Board. The mandate will last 4 years. Mayor Wu previously reappointed Lorena Lopera and Rafaela Polanco García to the Boston School Board, serving the remainder of the terms ending Jan. 1, 2024.