Barnstable Opens School Year with New Leadership

Meg Mayo-Brown is the new Superintendent of Schools in Barnstable.

Meg Mayo-Brown is the new Superintendent of Schools in Barnstable.

BARNSTABLE – School bells ring for the first time Wednesday throughout the Barnstable school district, which is under new leadership.

Meg Mayo-Brown took over as Superintendent on July 1 and spent the summer familiarizing herself with the district and its principals.

Mayo-Brown, who formerly served as the superintendent in Fall River, moved her family to West Barnstable and said she isn’t leaving anytime soon.

“Moving my family here. Buying a house here. I hope that signals I am here for the long run,” she said. “I think being imbedded in the community helps us as educators understand our student’s perspectives.”

Mayo-Brown spent 10 days throughout the school system in April, May and June for a pre-entry plan.

“It gave me an opportunity to meet with teachers, see classrooms in action,” she said. “I had lunch with students at each school I visited and had the opportunity to ask them a number of questions.”

She said she came away with a sense of the climate and culture of the schools she visited.

“Spending 10 days in the district prior to officially starting, I would say ensured a smooth transition into the district,” Mayo-Brown said.

Mayo-Brown spent the last seven years leading the Fall River school district as superintendent and before that was the assistant superintendent and Title 1 director.

She spent several years as a teacher in special education and elementary education.

In between teaching and working in an administrative capacity in Fall River, she worked for the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Mayo-Brown said there are major differences between Barnstable and Fall River but also some similarities. The Fall River district has about 80 percent of its students on free or reduced lunch compared to only about one-third in Barnstable.

She said Barnstable having some urban-like qualities attracted her to the position.

“There’s a rising English learner population coming into the schools. The free and reduced population is increasing as well,” she said. “But I think schools are very adept at leveling the playing field and provide students with the resources and opportunities they need.”

She said she loves the challenge of finding out what tools and resources a school or classroom may need to accelerate student learning.

Mayo-Brown was chosen in December to replace Mary Czajkowski, who left for the Lexington school district last year.

By BRIAN MERCHANT, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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