On March 29, 2017, the Malden School Committee met for an interview with two of the candidates for the new superintendent position: Dr. Charles Grandson, the current interim superintendent, and Dr. Patricia Lally, the superintendent of Holbrook. They are two of the five finalists for the permanent position, along with former Malden High principal Dana Brown, Portia Bonner who is superintendent of East Haven, and Somerville High principal John Oteri.
The meeting began by interviewing Dr. Grandson, asking him questions about his past, his current position as interim superintendent, and what he plans to do in the future for the city. He stated that he grew up in Washington D.C. in a community very similar to Malden. He began discussing his current position and how “[he has] fallen in love with the community and the Malden public schools,” and how he will be proud to raise his children here. He praised Malden schools for their diversity and told the Committee he would go “above and beyond in [his] commitment.” As for plans in the future, he said that he’d begun to apply for grants to help the city with its tight education budget which he believes would bring up many opportunities. In his past work, he researched different classroom types, whether they were classified by ability rather than age or grade, or if they were separated by gender. Overall, he claimed that his accumulated experience in his past jobs, his personal life, and his position as interim superintendent all qualify him to excel in the permanent position and to bring about many positive changes in the city.
Next, the Committee interviewed Dr. Patricia Lally. Which, while Grandson’s interview was largely based on the future, Lally’s interview seemed to focus on the past. In the past, Lally had worked in Tewksbury and Holbrook and she claims that the experiences she had there will help her excel in Malden. She believes that because of her past and her ability to bring up test scores in the past, that she will be able to help Malden rise from being a Level 3 city. She highlighted that she considers respect to be a vital value as an educator, as well as throughout life, and emphasized the importance “understand[ing] issues on both sides” in any situation. In her past schools, they brought virtual high school classes into the curriculum which enabled students to take courses more suitable for then. Lally also brought up to the Committee the importance of social/ emotional issues and how they need appropriate attention. As what Lally called a “collaborative leader,” she believes she can change Malden for the better.
The School Committee is in the process of selecting the finalist.