WAKEFIELD — As of Monday, July 20, the Wakefield public schools will have a new kindergarten through grade 12 Director of Health, Wellness and Athletics, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stephen K. Zrike has announced.
Brendan Kent of Melrose will replace Michael Boyages, who will retire at the end of the school year. Kent’s salary will be according to the Unit B contract based on experience and credentials. “We are sitting down with him to discuss details,” said Zrike. Last year, Boyages — a longtime employee of the Wakefield school system — made $112,396.
“Mr. Kent will have the opportunity to overlap with Mr. Boyages … for a few weeks,” Zrike continued.
Kent has spent the past seven years in the Melrose public school system where he has worked as a physical education teacher and coach. He grew up in the city, one of five brothers in a family heavily involved in Melrose athletics.
“As a well-regarded teacher in Melrose, Mr. Kent was part of an effort to revise the Melrose physical education curriculum to ensure consistency across the system, alignment to state standards and dynamic learning opportunities that engage all students,” said Zrike. “He has also worked on designing authentic assessments to provide teachers with comprehensive information on student performance.”
In addition, said Zrike, Kent is responsible for having developed an after-school middle school sports program. In collaboration with the city’s Recreation Department and local booster organizations, he helped pioneer many of the sports teams that the school offers today. The goal of these programs is to provide healthy after-school activities for middle school students.
“These programs have continued to grow larger and stronger each year,” Zrike continued. “In addition to his teaching duties, Mr. Kent is also involved with Melrose’s Athletic Department and other after-school programs. He coached a variety of high school sports teams, including football, basketball, wrestling, lacrosse and baseball.”
For four years, Kent also coordinated an after-school and summer strength and conditioning program for student-athletes.
“As both a teacher and coach, Mr. Kent believes in creating learning environments that foster and reinforce school and community values such as respect, effort, teamwork and personal responsibility,” said Zrike.
“During his career, Mr. Kent has taken on many leadership roles within his school and the community. Over the past seven years, he has served as a school representative on the Melrose Alliance Against Violence, the Safe Steps for Teens Task Force, the Melrose Education Association and the Middle School Improvement Council.
“In addition to his leadership experience, Mr. Kent brings a diverse educational background that makes him a strong match for the position.”
Kent holds a bachelor of arts degree in financial economics from St. Anselm College, a master’s degree in education (physical education) from Salem State University and licenses as a school Athletic Director and a school principal from the Commonwealth Leadership Academy at Endicott College. He also completed an apprenticeship with both his school principal and the Athletic Director while at Melrose, gaining valuable experience relevant to the position.
“Through the interview process, Mr. Kent demonstrated that he is a passionate and energetic leader in his field,” Zrike commented. “He is honored to take on this position and is excited to be part of the Warrior family.
“I want to extend my gratitude to the interview committee for their time and valuable input throughout the process,” said Zrike.