Published in the July 14, 2015


WAKEFIELD — At tonight’s school board meeting, new Director of Facilities and Transportation Maria Serrao will be formally introduced to members and the community.

Serrao replaces Peter Evangelista, who held the position of supervisor of custodians for 15 years. Altogether, Evangelista worked for the School Department for 28 years.

Serrao will earn $85,000 for the period July 1 through June 30, 2016.

Following discussions among town officials, it was decided earlier this year to redefine the schools Facilities Director position held by Evangelista. School board members approved the measure at their Tuesday, April 14 meeting.

According to the new job summary, Serrao will be considered an administrator of Wakefield’s schools and is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the school facilities and oversight of its transportation program. She will organize, administer and lead a comprehensive program of custodial services that provide all students and staff with an academic environment that is safe, clean, attractive and conducive to learning.

As transportation director, she also will coordinate and oversee an operationally sound and service oriented program.

The role also will call for facilities budget work, a review of related policies and procedures, record maintenance and collaboration with the Department of Public Works, among others.

In his letter to the community, former Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stephen K. Zrike wrote that Serrao brings with her 20 years of experience in facilities management in both the private sector and higher education.

“She has strong experience — producing results during times of fiscal constraint, effectively balancing value with quality outcomes and supporting a team to effectively manage and maintain facilities,” Zrike said.

Until her hiring in Wakefield, Serrao worked as Director of Facilities at Merrimack College.

Also on tonight’s agenda will be “Student Spotlight.” At this meeting, the light will shine on grade 4 students who won the annual 2015 Spelling Bee contest.

Unlike previous years when the Spelling Bee was held at the Dolbeare School and last year at The Savings Bank Theatre at the high school for grade 4 student finalists within the Wakefield district, this year’s Spelling Bee was held inside individual schools.

Motions also will be made to approve an out-of-state field trip for the Wakefield Memorial High School dance team, updates on technology within the schools and professional development and motions for a SEEM Collaborative Board appointment and delegation of authority.

This will be Dr. Kim Smith’s first meeting as Superintendent of Schools.