Urban Superintendents Academy Participant Appointed Receiver of Massachusetts School District


James Minichello
AASA, The School Superintendents Association

Alexandria, Va. – March 22, 2016 – Jessica L. Huizenga, Cambridge Public Schools’ assistant superintendent for curriculum, instruction and assessment, was today named receiver for the Southbridge Public Schools, in Southbridge, Mass. The announcement was issued by Mitchell D. Chester, the state’s elementary and secondary education commissioner.  

Huizenga was among the 2015-2016 cohort of educators participating in the AASA-Howard University Urban Superintendents Academy, a program launched last year to bolster the effectiveness of school district leadership in our nation’s urban settings. The program is designed to prepare individuals for certification and success in urban and increasingly diverse suburban areas.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity to help children who have long been underserved and to help support teachers to help ensure the success of their students,” said Huizenga in an interview with AASA during the Urban Academy’s most recent training session, March 19, 2016, at AASA’s headquarters in Alexandria, Va. “After going through the Urban Superintendents Academy program, I am excited to help bring leadership to a district, and restore pride and hope to a community.”

“Jessica Huizenga is an accomplished and experienced educator who has dedicated her career to working with teachers to ensure that students receive a strong education,” Chester said in a press release issued by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. “After the Local Stakeholder Group draws up its recommendations, Jessica and I will develop a Southbridge turnaround plan that she will implement with educators, parents, community members and students.”

“The (Urban Superintendents) Academy has truly given me a sense of confidence and self-assurance that I believe is going to benefit me in the actual role of an urban superintendent,” added Huizenga.  

Chester will remain the receiver until Huizenga’s appointment takes effect on May 2, 2016. Under the statute, the commissioner and receiver will develop a Level 5 District Turnaround Plan that will include district priorities and strategies to accelerate achievement with measurable benchmarks connected directly to improvement for all Southbridge students.

Click here to learn more. For more information about the AASA-Howard University Urban Superintendents Academy, visit the AASA website.


About AASA
AASA, The School Superintendents Association, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org.