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Greater boston district and school assistance center team

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Regional Assistance Director — Mary Ann Jackman Mary Ann Jackman began her career in education as a teacher in the Boston Public Schools and over a period of 19 years assumed a variety of classroom, mathematics, and technology positions and leadership roles.  During the next 19 years, within the Hanover MA Schools, Mary Ann served as Principal of two elementary schools and then as Superintendent.  Mary Ann holds a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education (University of Massachusetts), Masters of Education with concentration in Mathematics (University of Massachusetts), and a CAGS in Educational Administration (University of Massachusetts). 

Support Facilitator — Rachel Hunt has spent her professional life working to increase access to high quality education.  She began her career teaching and leading teachers in Central America. Ms. Hunt participated in the Building Excellent Schools Fellowship and went on to found Salem Academy Charter School in 2004.  The 6-12 school was recognized by Boston Magazine in 2012 as the Best Charter School in the greater Boston area and by U.S. News and World Report as the Commonwealth’s 5th Best Public High School in 2013.  She worked collaboratively with the Salem Public School district during her tenure at Salem Academy through a Commendation Schools Grant and a Federal Dissemination Grant, and was elected to the Salem School Committee in 2013. She holds a MEd in Administration, Planning and Social Policy (Harvard University).

Support Facilitator — Joe Petner began his career in teaching in 1967 in the Philadelphia Public Schools. He joined the Cambridge Public Schools in 1974 as a staff and program developer for its Follow Through Program and directed the program from 1979 to 1989. In 1989, he became principal of the Hagerty Elementary School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a position he retired from in July 2007. Currently, he serves as an adjunct faculty member at Lesley University and Wheelock College. He has been recognized by the following organizations: Cambridge Community Television: The Leading Role Award for Service to the Cambridge Community, September, 2007; Massachusetts Teacher’s Association Award: Creative Leadership in Human Rights, May, 2007; Haggerty School Peace Prize Award, 2002; and the Greater Boston Association for Retarded Citizens (GBARC) distinguished educator award, 1994. Collaborated with Dan Habib, filmmaker, on his award-winning documentary, Including Samuel. He holds a PhD (University of North Dakota).

Support Facilitator — Casel Walker is a consultant with SchoolWorks. Casel has more than 30 years of diversified educational experience in the Boston Public Schools. She has direct educational leadership experience related to the accountability for the improved achievement of student performance. She has demonstrated accomplishments in school leadership, professional development for teachers and parents, budget management, supervision of teachers and other staff, and districtwide leadership experience. Casel holds her M.Ed. in Educational Administration (Curry College).

Regional Literacy Lead – Lauren Updegrove brings literary experience from both urban and suburban schools and districts. Her experience as an elementary school teacher, consulting member of a literacy teaching studio, and master teacher has provided expertise in transitioning curriculum to meet the demands of the Common Core Standards in Literacy. She holds a MAT (Brown University).

Regional Math LeadLeah Tuckman is a former instructor, advisor, master teacher, department chair, and curriculum professional. She brings diverse experience in mathematics education, working in both urban district and charter middle schools and high schools. As a teacher and the math department chair at a Boston charter school, Leah helped lead the 5th through 12th grade math teachers through the transition to the 2011 Massachusetts Frameworks for Mathematics. She holds a M.Ed. (Lesley University), and a B.A. (Haverford College).

Data Specialist – Hilary Bresnahan began her career as an elementary teacher in Taunton, Massachusetts and New York City. Joining the Executive Leadership Program for Educators and Center for Education Policy Research teams at the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 2009, she studied the impact of state and district collaborative teams to support improved student outcomes, data-driven programs to support instructional improvements, and the impact of video observation in teacher evaluation systems.  In addition to her research experience at Harvard, Hilary brings rich experience in curriculum and assessment development, professional development, coaching and program evaluation as an education consultant.  She holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction (University of California, Santa Barbara) and Ed.M. in Education Policy and Management (Harvard University).

Professional Development and Targeted Assistance Coordinator – VACANT

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