Tommy Welch says he’s ready to “hit the ground running” and lead Boston Public Schools


“I’m not the type of person to just say ‘hey, I feel like I’m ready to be a superintendent, I might as well go apply to whatever job,’” Welch said during a Friday afternoon public interview to become the next Boston superintendent.

“I would only lead a district that I’m emotionally and physically connected to,” he said. “BPS is that district. Boston is that city.”

Welch, a regional superintendent for Boston Public Schools, was the second of two superintendent finalists to be publicly interviewed this week. Welch repeatedly emphasized his ability to hit the ground running immediately on July 1.

The School Committee is scheduled to choose the next district leader Wednesday.

During the interviews Friday, Welch was asked how he will elevate the voices of people of color in the district and ensure that they can trust his leadership, and how he will continue the anti-racist and equity work the outgoing Superintendent Brenda Cassellius began during her time in the district.

Welch recalled the time he first went to East Boston seven years ago, meeting with community members who mostly spoke Spanish, and hearing from them about what was or wasn’t working. Based on those first conversations, he said, the district was able to change grade configurations in East Boston that previously were prompting families to leave the area.

“I believe that elevating all voices is one of the most important things,” Welch said. “A leader cannot do their work unless they’re hearing from people and authentically understanding what people want for their children and what they want for their school communities.”

Here are some other highlights from Welch’s interviews:

Multilingual instruction

Welch described extensive experience working with multilingual learners, including as an English as a second language teacher and principal of a majority-English learner school in Los Angeles, as well as the network superintendent for Boston’s majority-Latino East Boston region…