Mayor Michelle Wu today announced the appointment of Dr. Stephen Alkins to the Boston School Committee, to serve a 4-year term. The Boston School Committee is the governing body of Boston Public Schools.
“Dr. Alkins has dedicated his career to bringing about the systemic change that’s needed in this moment,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “I’m excited for him to bring his vision and experience to the Boston School Committee. His commitment to inclusion and holistic understanding of education will benefit all BPS families, educators, and staff.”
“On behalf of the Boston School Committee, I am pleased to welcome Dr. Alkins as our newest colleague, and thank him for his commitment to serving on this Committee,” said Boston School Committee Chairperson, Jeri Robinson. “He has strong connections within the community, and a demonstrated passion for diversity, equity and inclusion and 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 in service to the students, families, and educators of the Boston Public Schools.”
“I am excited to welcome Dr. Alkins to the Boston School Committee and look forward to partnering with him and his fellow members on 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. The School Committee plays a vital role in helping BPS set the vision by pushing us to continue improving our practices. Dr. Alkins’ experience within the community, as well as his ties to this work are going to add great value as we seek to manage the global pandemic and support students’ learning and social emotional development.”
Stephen D. Alkins, Jr., Ph.D. is the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (and Belonging) Officer (DEIO) and Co-chair of the DEI Council at TERC, a STEM education research and development nonprofit organization. With his leadership, Stephen helps craft and implement the vision for DEIB at TERC through his collaboration on NSF STEM education grant development in multiple learning environments (informal and formal K-16 spaces). His role and responsibilities include recruitment and retention of a diverse research and infrastructure staff, internal policy review, development and analysis of inclusive educational opportunities and social programming, and establishment of collaborative partnerships to promote equity for all STEM learners. He also helps research teams employ critical DEIB frameworks (e.g. Decolonization, Critical Race Theory, Queer Theory, Social Capital Theory, etc.) to help dismantle systemic inequities within STEM education, support youth STEM identity development, and engage and include underrepresented/marginalized communities in authentic, collaborative research experiences. Finally, he is an accomplished scientist, college and high school educator, mentor, and national-performing Spoken Word/SLAM poet who uses art to diversify participation in and enhance understanding of STEM concepts. Stephen received his B.S. in Biology from Morehouse College and his Master’s and Ph.D. in Cellular Neuroscience from Brandeis University.
“I am excited to collaborate with diverse voices advocating and strategizing toward educational equity and empowering the valuable knowledge and input of the Boston community,” said Stephen Alkins. “This role necessitates us to face difficult questions and conflicts that center Boston’s students, their families, and our community. Let’s get to work.”
The School Committee is responsible for:
- Defining the vision, mission, and goals of the Boston Public Schools;
- Establishing and monitoring the annual operating budget;
- Hiring, managing, and evaluating the Superintendent; and
- Setting and reviewing district policies and practices to support student achievement.
The School Committee meets approximately twice per month during the school year to adopt, review and modify policies and practices that support teaching, learning and improved student achievement. With the exception of executive sessions, Committee meetings are open to the public, feature public comment periods and are broadcast on Boston City TV.
With Alkins’ appointment, Mayor Wu has one other vacancy to fill on the Boston School Committee. The term will run 4 years. Mayor Wu previously reappointed Lorena Lopera and Rafaela Polanco García to the Boston School Committee, to serve the remainder of terms that end on January 1, 2024.