The Portsmouth school committee formally announced the appointment of the new interim superintendent, retired Rear Admiral Barbara McGann, in an e-mail to the community this morning. Here's the entire text of the broadcast e-mail from School Committee chair Dave Croston, followed by the press release.
Please join me in welcoming Rear Admiral (Upper Half) USN (Ret.) Barbara McGann as our Interim Superintendent of Schools. On a unanimous vote last evening, the School Committee approved Admiral McGann, who will take the helm immediately. This is an incredibly exciting and important event for Portsmouth Schools. Barbara brings a wealth of educational and operational experience to the Portsmouth Schools. She is pioneer in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) education and served as Executive Director of the Advance Math and Science Charter School in Marlboro, Massachusetts for three years. She was Superintendent of the Marlborough, Massachusetts system, with 4,589 students, and Assistant Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. Her Naval career was long and distinguished. Barbara retired after serving as Provost of the Naval War College and was past Commander of the Navy Recruiting Command. Please see attached Press Release for more detail.
I first met Barbara almost five years ago on a visit to the Advanced Math and Science Academy in Marlborough, Massachusetts. I knew a member of the AMSA Board who raved about Barbara and what the school was accomplishing. Barbara's focus will be on our students and the quality of the instruction. She is a collaborative leader that will reach-out to you and will listen. As a parent, I can't be more excited for the District and our future.
Your Portsmouth Schools Central Administration is a dynamic team that has been rebuilt over the past few months. I want to thank Jeff Schoonover, Assistant Superintendent for his leadership this past summer. Jeff was appointed Assistant Superintendent in July having served as Interim Director of Curriculum. Prior to that Jeff led the PHS Science Department as Chair. In 2009, Jeff's innovative views related to science curriculum and dedication to his students led the Portsmouth High teacher to be named a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Jeff and Barbara make an incredibly dynamic team as we strive to build our STEAM education components.
While many of you never meet the business side of Central Administration we are truly blessed to have attracted an incredible team. Earlier this spring the Portsmouth School Committee hired Chris DiIuro as Director of Finance and Administration. Chris was Controller for the $40 Billion CVS retail division and now directs our sub $40 Million budget, probably no less work in our environment. Chris has done an incredible job in the past six months building accounting best practice, financial controls, and developing long term financial forecasts. He is truly our unsung hero.
Skip Uhl joined the District as Finance Manager two weeks ago. Skip brings a wealth of operational and financial experience to Portsmouth. Skip worked with Chris at CVS and prior to that for Melville Corporation. He most recently ran financial operations of a paper recycling plant owned by the Kraft Family. Skip is a consummate professional that we are honored to have as part of the team.
This summer we also 'promoted' Cathy Nash to direct Human Resources. Cathy has incredible institutional knowledge of the District and has hit the ground running. She is doing a great job in organizing the department and building best practices. Cathy was Assistant to the Assistant Superintendent for many years, excelling at every task.
I would be remiss not to commend everyone at Central Administration as they truly keep our wheels moving and each go out of their way to assure our schools run smoothly.
We will hold an Administrative Open House in September where I hope you will have the opportunity to meet this team in person.
Portsmouth, R.I - The Portsmouth School Committee at its meeting of Monday, August 19th selected Rear Admiral Barbara E. McGann as Interim Superintendent of Schools. McGann will serve for the balance of the 2013-2014 school year and will take the helm in time for the first day of school. Rear Admiral McGann most recently was the Executive Director of the Advanced Math and Science Academy in Marlborough, Massachusetts, a Massachusetts Charter School. She served in that capacity for three years stabilizing the young Charter School and developing a model next generation learning community. The Advanced Math and Science Academy was an International Baccalaureate school, signifying the highest in academic achievement.
“We are more than excited to bring in a CEO of Barbara’s depth and experience. She shares our commitment to develop in Portsmouth a 21st century education model. Her commitment to the student, the classroom, and her ability to work collaboratively with all stakeholders is truly a gift to Portsmouth,” said David Croston, Chair of the Portsmouth School Committee. “I am incredible excited for our families in Portsmouth.”
McGann has served as Superintendent in Marlborough, Massachusetts, an urban school district serving 4,589 students; and, as Assistant Superintendent in Boston, Massachusetts. She was led to an educational career as a Fellow of the Broad Urban Superintendents Academy. McGann served two years from 2002 to 2004 as Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross of Rhode Island upon her retirement from the Navy.
Rear Admiral McGann had a most prestigious Naval Career retiring as Rear Admiral (“2 Star”) in 2002, having served as Provost of the Naval War College, Newport Rhode Island.
Her first duty station was Naval Air Station, Meridian, Mississippi, where she was the Public Affairs Officer. She reported to Navy Recruiting District, Los Angeles in 1972, where she served as an Officer Recruiter for two years. In 1974 she was assigned to Headquarters, Navy Recruiting Command, Washington, D.C., as Assistant Director in the Plans and Policy Division. Her next tour was as the assignment officer for junior Surface Warfare Officers at the Bureau of Naval Personnel from 1976 to 1978.
In April 1978, Rear Admiral McGann was transferred to the Pentagon to work for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the Personnel Policy Division. Following that tour, she reported to Navy Recruiting District, Iselin, New Jersey, where she served as the Executive Officer from 1980 to 1982.
After graduation from the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, in November 1983, Rear Admiral McGann served as a special assistant to the Secretary of the Navy for Manpower andReserve Affairs from 1983 to 1985. Her next tour of duty was as an Assignment Officer at Navy Personnel Command from 1985 to 1987.
After promotion to Commander, she assumed command of Naval Support Activity, Holy Loch, Scotland, in June 1987. During this time she was designated as a Joint Specialty Officer. After two years in command, Rear Admiral McGann was assigned to the office of the Chief of Naval Operations where she served as Head of Middle East, Africa and South Asia Plans and Policy. In September 1990, she became the Executive Assistant to the Commander, Navy Recruiting Area Eight, San Francisco, California. Following this tour in 1993, Rear Admiral McGann taught Strategic Studies as a Fellow at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
In June 1994, Rear Admiral McGann assumed the rank of Rear Admiral (Lower Half) and assumed the duties of Assistant Chief of Naval Personnel for Total Force Programming and Manpower. She became Commander, Navy Recruiting Command in September 1996. In July 1997, she was promoted to Rear Admiral (Upper Half). In September 2000, she assumed duties as Provost, Naval War College.
Rear Admiral McGann earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English from the College of Our Lady of the Elms, Chicopee, Massachusetts, and was commissioned through the Officer Candidate School, Newport, Rhode Island in March 1970. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Business Administration from Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island, and a Master of Arts Degree in Foreign Affairs from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. She was conferred an honorary Doctor of Education Degree from Roger Williams University in 2002.
Her personal Decorations include two Distinguished Service Medals, two Legion of Merit Medals, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals and the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Rear Admiral McGann is a native of Newport, Rhode Island where she presently resides.