For Immediate Release - August 05, 2014


BOSTON – Tuesday, August 5, 2014 -- Governor Deval Patrick today announced that he has appointed three education leaders -- Margaret McKenna, Katherine Craven, and Mary Ann Stewart -- to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education. McKenna has been named the new chairperson of the Board.

“I am very pleased to appoint three experienced education professionals to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education,” said Governor Patrick. “I know they will continue to be great partners in our efforts to close the achievement gap and ensure that all of our students are prepared for future success.”

“These appointments bring decades of professional and educational experience to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, ensuring a strong Board for our students,” said Secretary of Education Matthew Malone. “We have made great progress in closing the achievement gap, but I know these members will join the Board in their commitment to keep working towards this critical goal.”

Margaret McKenna served as President of Lesley University for 22 years, where, during her tenure, the University grew from 2,000 to more than 10,000 students and established itself as a national leader in teacher education. Following her leadership of Lesley, she went on to serve as President of the Walmart Foundation for four years, leading one of the nation’s biggest philanthropic foundations, supporting hunger relief, sustainability, women’s economic empowerment, and career opportunities. McKenna began her career as a civil rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and later served as Deputy White House Counsel to President Jimmy Carter. She helped establish the United States Department of Education in the late 1970s, where she served as Deputy Undersecretary. In 1981, McKenna became Vice President of Radcliffe College, where she served until 1985 when she left to take over the helm of Lesley.  She serves as President Emeritus and Professor of Leadership at Lesley. McKenna has been appointed to numerous boards, including the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce, and has been the recipient of a number of awards and honors. She has been a Fellow at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School and at the Aspen Institute’s Ascend Project. McKenna received her Bachelor of Arts at Emmanuel College and her Juris Doctorate at Southern Methodist University School of Law. Currently, McKenna serves as acting director and visiting professor of the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at the Heller School of Brandeis University. McKenna also serves on the Boston School Committee, a post from which she will step down prior to being sworn in as chair of the state Board. McKenna is a resident of Boston, and has two adult sons. Her appointment fills the vacancy left by Board chair Maura Banta, whose term expired in June 2014.

“Margaret McKenna is a proven and effective leader, with deep experience at the national, state, and local levels,” said Paul Guzzi, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. “Her considerable expertise in education and civil rights will be a tremendous benefit to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and its critical role of strengthening our schools and fostering the future talent of our region.”

“Given that this is such a critical time for the Commonwealth in its efforts to further improve the education system, I am excited that the Governor has tapped such a qualified leader for the Board,” said Jackie Jenkins-Scott, President of Wheelock College. “To envision the future, we need innovative, bold leaders who are strategic, collaborative thinkers like Margaret McKenna, who has the expertise, depth of knowledge and track record for leading change where needed.”

Katherine Craven currently serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of Babson College, one of the nation’s leading business colleges. Katherine began her career as a budget director and policy advisor to the Massachusetts House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means. Craven was named Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the newly created Massachusetts School Building Authority in 2004, where she won plaudits for her effective management and leadership. While leading the School Building Authority, Craven was also named First Deputy Treasurer of the Commonwealth.  Craven left the School Building Authority and the Treasurer’s Office in 2011 when she was appointed Executive Director of the UMass Building Authority and Assistant Vice President for Capital Finance for the University of Massachusetts. Craven received a Bachelor of Arts in History from Harvard University. She is a resident of Brookline, where she lives with her husband and four children. Her appointment fills the vacancy left by Board member Beverly Holmes, who stepped down from the Board last year. Craven will fill the business seat on the Board.

“Public service is a huge part of who Katherine Craven is - it is what drives her,’’ said University of Massachusetts President Robert L. Caret. “With her boundless energy, sharp intellect and creativity, I am convinced that her service on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education will be as valuable as was her service at the UMass Building Authority.”

Mary Ann Stewart served as President of the Massachusetts PTA from 2010-2012. She has served on the PTA State Board since 2005. Since 2009, Stewart has served as an elected member of the Lexington School Committee, leading the Board as chair from 2011-2012. Stewart received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts for Music Education. Stewart currently serves as Director of Education and Programs for Children, Youth, and Families for the Parish of the Good Shepherd in Newton. Stewart is a resident of Lexington, Massachusetts, where she lives with her husband and three children. Her appointment fills the PTA vacancy left by Board member Ruth Kaplan, whose term expired in June 2014.

“I am confident that Mary Ann Stewart will be an outstanding member of the Massachusetts Board of Elementary and Secondary Education,” said Lexington Public Schools Superintendent Paul Ash. “She has served as a member of the Lexington School Committee with great distinction. Her thoughtful decisions are always made in the best interest of all students and educators.”

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