I am happy to share with you that the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents Women’s Educational Leadership Network has chosen Superintendent of Schools Cyndy Taymore as the recipient of this year’s Bobbie D’Alessandro Leadership Award.
This award has been given for the past seven years to an outstanding woman leader who is a role model for thoughtful and caring leadership with a laser focus on improved student achievement.
Past recipients include: Bobbie D’Alessandro, Kay Donovan, Joan Connolly, Maureen LaCroix, Karla Brook-Baehr, Lisa Dana and Meg May-Brown.
The following was taken from the award presentation of March 15, 2016:
Cyndy exemplifies what we want and need from a school leader – She is mission driven with an unwavering commitment to that mission that is inclusive and designed to meet the needs of all children. She believes that all children can learn and to that end, she insists that all who work with her embrace that commitment as a core value. Cyndy, as Melrose Superintendent, has transformed her district with her focus on children.
This year Melrose Public Schools received positive results from the PARCC assessment with 5 of her 7 schools earning the highest performance classification for their scores.
Lincoln Elementary School was named a 2015 Blue Ribbon School by the Department of Education for achieving superior standards of academic excellence and closing the achievement gap. Two other elementary schools were commended for their high progress and meeting their gap-closing goals
Melrose is the only community in Massachusetts with three “commended” schools in the same district.
Cyndy also sets and models high expectations in terms of quality of work, effort and professionalism. To that end Melrose is trying to create a self-perpetuating culture of professional learning that is independent of those who have led and implemented these changes by creating more teacher leaders. She knows she’s not perfect and continually self reflects in order to improve her own practice—she models that for all. She provides professional development to all staff that ensures staff members have the support and supervision that they need to fulfill their responsibilities.
In addition to her leadership expertise, she knows curriculum and instruction, knows how to build a budget that ensures that core curriculum is delivered and uses a wide variety of resources to accomplish her curricular and instructional goals.
Her School Committee has the deepest respect for her and her leadership and has offered these words of tribute:
When Cyndy came to Melrose she brought a relentless determination to improve academic outcomes for all students. She truly wants the best for every child. She has created an outstanding team that is devoted to her and our mission.
Being in classrooms and seeing children is her most joyful and rewarding moments. Each month she brings to our board meeting, a principal and students so she can showcase their work and culture. It sets a tone at our board meetings that we are all about children.
They concluded their remarks by saying Cyndy is authentic, true to herself and our community. She is compassionate and loving with passion and determination. She is a manager, a leader and a visionary. We are incredibly grateful and proud to call her our Superintendent, but most importantly to call her our school partner and friend.
Hearing this from her committee clearly displays her outstanding leadership abilities.
In addition to her responsibilities as Superintendent, she has been an amazing leader as Chair of the Professional Development Program for MASS. She does whatever it takes to ensure that the annual Executive Institutes, Leadership Forums and Professional Member Services are successful.
She a leader within the Merimack Valley Roundtable and has been a key contributor to the MASS writing team on the paper on Social Emotional Learning.
In Melrose, she works with Rotary, The Chamber of Commerce, The Human Rights Commission and other city organizations to partner with them in support of students.
As you can see, Cyndy is an amazing leader who conducts herself with determination, passion and expertise. She is a model for all women leaders.
Congratulations, Cyndy on being the 2016 recipient of this award!
Cyndy responded that she was surprised to receive this award as the recipient is not announced prior to the conference. “It is a great honor to be recognized by my colleagues, many who are outstanding leaders in education. My wish is that the work we are doing as a team in Melrose is beneficial to all students.”