Published in the May 18, 2016 edition
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — High School Assistant Principal Kevin Cyr has been named as the school system’s director of teaching and learning, Superintendent of Schools Jane Tremblay announced at last week’s School Committee meeting.
Tremblay created the new administrative position in the school department’s fiscal year 2017 budget. She said recently the director of teaching and learning will be tasked with helping teachers improve their teaching practices and will expand proven instructional practices in grades K-12.
According to the job description, Cyr will be coordinating and leading the implementation of curriculum “that is consistent with national, state and local standards and aligned at each grade and level.” He will be directing the “development, evaluation and revision of curriculum and instruction,” and will “assume responsibility for the implementation of newly approved instructional programs.”
Cyr, who has signed a three-year contract, will be making an annual salary of $120,000. The position is funded by a $50,000 appropriation within the FY’17 school budget combined with the $70,000 salary of a retiring executive secretary.
Tremblay said the position was posted internally in early April and Cyr was the only applicant. She interviewed Cyr at the end of April and he was offered the job earlier this month.
“We were hoping for an internal candidate so we can hit the ground running in the fall,” said Tremblay. “Kevin’s skill set in working with teachers, professional development, curriculum and accountability makes him a perfect match.”
The School Committee voted to appoint Cyr as the director of teaching and learning last week. School Committee Chairman Tim Doyle and committee members Dorothy Presser, Salvatore Cammarata and Rich Sjoberg voted to appoint Cyr while School Committee member Jamie Hayman abstained (see separate story).
Cyr said he is looking forward to becoming the director of teaching and learning on July 1.
“I am very grateful,” said Cyr. “I truly believe it’s a privilege to work for the Lynnfield Public Schools. I am ready for the next chapter and I am thrilled about the opportunity to be the director of teaching and learning. I have the opportunity to work collaboratively with the students and the staff that I love to work with in this district.”
Cyr has served as Lynnfield High School’s assistant principal since July 2008 and was named as the Massachusetts Secondary School Administrators’ Association Assistant Principal of the Year in December 2014. He served as Carver High School’s assistant principal from 2006-2008. He also worked as a social studies department head and teacher at North Reading High School from 1999-2006.
Since coming to LHS, Cyr has been involved with a number of different initiatives, including the high school’s one-to-one technology program. He also worked to expand the advisory program, which is now called the Compass program.
“I have been the assistant principal at the high school for eight years,” said Cyr. “Each day there is a new challenge and there is never a dull moment in that role. I have learned so much from the leadership team, teachers, students and the community and I have the opportunity to build on that knowledge and foundation.”
Cyr said he’s looking forward to the next chapter of his career in education.
“I know I am prepared because I have been a teacher, department head and an assistant principal,” said Cyr. “I have a unique perspective and not every one has those different perspectives in education.”
Tremblay said Cyr was “completely outstanding” during his interview.
“(Cyr’s) vision of excellence in our classrooms really supports our district strategy,” said Tremblay.
Tremblay said Cyr’s promotion will have a positive impact on teaching and learning.
“When we develop a shared understanding of effective leadership and teaching practices, we are able to hold all of the members of our organization accountable for their personal growth and improvement,” said Cyr. “Then, leadership and teaching practices will improve and student achievement will increase. That is how Kevin and I are looking at this position.”
“The ultimate goal is to improve teaching and learning,” said Cyr.
Cammarata congratulated Cyr on being named director of teaching and learning.
“I have been following your career since my daughter was in high school,” said Cammarata. “I think you have worked really hard to earn the respect, confidence, faith and trust of the community. I wish you the best.”
Presser concurred with Cammarata’s sentiment.
“(Cyr’s) excitement and passion for teaching and learning and his desire to have it happen at a very high level always comes through,” said Presser.
Doyle also wished Cyr well in his new job. While Doyle noted Cyr has “a ton of experience at the secondary level,” he inquired how Cyr is going to get himself up to speed at the elementary schools.
Cyr agreed with Doyle he does not have a lot of experience working at the elementary level and “there is going to be a learning curve.” He said the fact he is “surrounded by a tremendous team,” particularly Tremblay, will help him make the transition.
“I told the high school folks I may not see them a lot at the beginning of the year because I have a lot of work to do at the elementary level,” said Cyr.
Hayman said Cyr is an “excellent choice” for the director of teaching and learning position because he has done a “fabulous job” as the high school’s assistant principal. He asked Tremblay why the position was “not opened up to outside candidates.”
Tremblay said she wanted to post the job internally first because the school department has “qualified people who could do the job.” She said one of the pitfalls with an outside candidate is there would have been a learning curve.
“It’s not going to take Kevin a year to figure out what does excellence in Lynnfield mean,” said Tremblay.