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School Committee

Our Waltham School Committee

Honorable Jeannette A. McCarthy: Mayor and School Committee Chairperson
Honorable Jeannette A. McCarthy: Mayor and School Committee Chairperson

Mayor Jeannette A. McCarthy is a life-long resident of Waltham, MA.  Mayor McCarthy attended Waltham public schools and is a graduate of Waltham High School, Boston College, Suffolk University Law School, and Northeastern University.  Prior to being elected Mayor, Ms. McCarthy served two years as a Councillor-at-Large, and served six years on the Waltham School Committee.  She was also employed for 7 years as a city solicitor, and became Mayor of Waltham in 2004.  Mayor McCarthy had a private law practice, and also volunteered her time for many organizations including the American Cancer Society, Greater Waltham Association for Retarded Citizens, and Waltham Partnership for Youth.

Contact: mayor@city.waltham.ma.us / (781) 314-3100

Dr. Drew M. Echelson: Superintendent and School Committee Clerk
Dr. Drew M. Echelson: Superintendent and School Committee Clerk

On July 1 2015, Drew Echelson began work as Superintendent of Waltham Public Schools.  Echelson began his career in education first as a City Year-Boston corps member working with middle school students in out-of-school  time and then as an elementary school teacher in the Hartford (CT) Public Schools. Echelson was appointed principal of the Tucker School in Milton (MA). After one year of his leadership, the school was designated as a Level 1 School and recognized for high overall performance and closing of achievement gaps, an honor it held for many years after his departure.  

After proudly serving Tucker, he served as Superintendent intern and Chief-of-Staff in the Seattle (WA) Public Schools where he worked closely with union, political and business leaders in the city to develop and communicate district strategy.  He was then selected to serve as a Network Superintendent in the Boston Public Schools (BPS).  In this role he coached, supported and supervised school leaders in Mattapan, Dorchester and parts of Hyde Park. Three of the top five schools in state with largest 2015 ELA student growth improvement were from his network of schools.  

Echelson completed his undergraduate work in the Honor’s Program at the University of Connecticut and earned a Master’s and doctorate in education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE).  His dissertation focuses on the role central office leaders can play to partner with and support principals to improve teaching and learning at the school level.

Contact: drewechelson@k12.waltham.ma.us / (781) 314-5400

Mrs. Elizabeth AlJammal: School Committee Member
Mrs. Elizabeth AlJammal: School Committee Member

Liz and her husband have made Waltham their home since 2000. They have two daughters who are students in Waltham Public Schools.

Liz earned a Bachelor?s in Psychology from Rhode Island College and a Master?s of Social Work from the Boston College Graduate School of Social Work. She is a Licensed Certified Social Worker in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Liz and her family are members of the PTOs at the Fitzgerald and McDevitt Schools. She served on the School Site Council at Fitzgerald and is currently serving on the McDevitt School Site Council. She has served on multiple Principal and Assistant Principal Search Committees, the Special Education Task Force and the Strategic Planning Team.

Liz is the daughter of two immigrant parents and began kindergarten with very limited knowledge of English. She strongly believes that given the appropriate resources, all students can excel and be successful. 

Contact: lizaljammal@walthampublicschools.org 

(617) 212-8298

Ms. Margaret Donnelley: School Committee Member
Ms. Margaret Donnelley: School Committee Member

Margy has served on the School Committee for 20 years. She has a lifelong love of education demonstrated by serving in many aspects of the field. Margy taught in Marlboro for 36 years, ten of them while serving on the Waltham School Committee. She grew up in Newton and graduated from Regis College with a BA in Psychology, UMass Boston with an M.Ed in Guidance Counseling and acquired an additional 64 Graduate Credits in many areas of education. She is also a Certified Professional Ski Instructor who taught at Killington part time for 15 years.

While serving on the School Committee she has worked with several superintendents and administrators. She was a member of the Waltham School Building Committee for eight schools for ten years during the project. She has been on many other Committees including searches for Administrators, the Park and Recreation Committee, the EDCO Collaborative, Curriculum Committees and State Legislative Committees, among many others.

Margy believes that education and learning is the most important part of life. She is very pleased to continue to be a part of all the aspects of it and to impact our many Waltham families in a positive way.

Contact: margaretdonnelly@k12.waltham.ma.us

Mr. John B. Graceffa: School Committee Member
Mr. John B. Graceffa: School Committee Member

John Graceffa was born and raised in Waltham. Graduated from Waltham High School and received his Bachelors and Master’s degrees from Springfield College.  Mr. Graceffa spent over 39 years as a Teacher, Coach, and Administrator at Waltham High School.  The last 23 years of his employment Mr. Graceffa was Principal of Waltham High School.  Mr. Graceffa retired from the Waltham Public Schools and is still working as an administrator of a private high school. 

Mr. Graceffa has extensive knowledge and experience in all aspects of education: Curriculum, Facilities, Special Education, Technology, Budget and budget implications. He understands what it takes to manage a school and a system.  His approach always has been to make decisions in the best interest of our students.

He is currently serving his second term as a member of the School committee. He has served as Vice-Chair of the School Committee, chaired the screening committee to select our current Superintendent and effectively offered his opinions, knowledge and experience in supporting the decisions his colleagues on the School Committee have addressed and are addressing.  

John and his wife have three boys who graduated from Waltham High School and graduated from college.  John is proud and honored to have been elected to the School Committee and be an elected official representing the parents, students, and residents of a city he truly is proud of.  

Contact: johngraceffa@k12.waltham.ma.us 

Mr. John A. Frassica II: School Committee Member
Mr. John A. Frassica II: School Committee Member

John and his wife Ann have called Waltham their home since marrying in 1991.  Their son and daughter are proud students of the Waltham Public Schools.  John has served on the Waltham School Committee since January 2014. During his time on the school committee, he has served twice on the bargaining team for teacher negotiations. He served as a member of the new superintendent search committee. He is a member of the policy manual committee. He serves as the school committee representative on the School Building Committee and has been appointed to the Designer Selection Panel for the project. He serves on the Innovation School Team investigating an alternative school for Waltham fine arts students. He serves on the Advisory Council for the Waltham Family School. John, along with his colleague Ms. Dowcett, was successful in implementing the approval of three youth representatives from the high school to sit as members of the school committee during meetings. John is proud to serve the students, parents, citizens and educators of Waltham.

Contact: johnfrassica@k12.waltham.ma.us / (617) 775-8702

Mr. Stephen Rando Jr.: School Committee Member
Mr. Stephen Rando Jr.: School Committee Member

I was born, Stephen Rando, Jr., in Waltham and have lived here all my life.  I attended Waltham Schools including St. Joseph’s Elementary, Whittemore Elementary, South Junior, and Waltham High School.  I earned my BA and M.Ed at Suffolk University. After graduation, I accepted a teaching position at the MacArthur Elementary School. I also worked at the Waltham Evening School teaching Citizenship, Self Defense for Women and Martial Arts. This led me to become Supervisor of the Adult Basic and Civic Education Department, and then assuming the Directorship of the Waltham Evening School.

I was elected the Teaching Assistant Principal of the Bright Elementary School followed by a full-time Assistant Principal of the Northeast Elementary School. I was then elected by the School Committee to be Principal of the Bright School, where I served the students and parents until my retirement.

I purchased a home in Waltham, married Barbara Rando, and had four children who attended Waltham Schools and went on to attend colleges. At this time, six of my eight grandchildren are currently attending Waltham Schools.  As you can see, Waltham is and always will be a part of me and my family.

Having been a parent, teacher and administrator, I feel I have an excellent perspective for my position as a member of the Waltham School Committee.

Contact: stephenrando@k12.waltham.ma.us

Mr. Edmund Tarallo: School Committee Member
Mr. Edmund Tarallo: School Committee Member

Edmund Tarallo, whom most people know as Teddy, was first elected to the Waltham School Committee in 2011 and is now serving his second four year term on the Committee. Teddy is also the Chair of the School Committee Policy Manual Subcommittee. He and his wife, Lauren, own a home in North Waltham and are the proud parents of their newly born daughter, who will be a member of the class of 2034. 

Teddy attended the Waltham Public Schools, graduating in 2000, and then went on to graduate from Brandeis University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2004. Teddy also has a Masters of Education in School Administration. Professionally, he has been a high school math teacher in another community for nearly a decade, making education the focal point of his professional life. As an educator with a deep understanding of and an appreciation for the importance of a quality education and the opportunities it affords to students, Teddy brings this understanding and knowledge to the Committee.

Contact: edmundtarallo@k12.waltham.ma.us 

Jillian Donnelly, School Committee Student Representative
Jillian Donnelly, School Committee Student Representative

Jillian Donnelly represents the senior class. Jillian is a varsity soccer and lacrosse player for Waltham High School.  She participates in both dance theatre and dance throughout the year.  Jillian is also a freshmen mentor and is honored to represent her class on student council and hopes to join class council.  Jillian is a proud graduate of Kennedy Middle School and Northeast Elementary.  She has aspirations to study pre-medicine or nursing in college.  She is thankful for this opportunity to represent the junior class as a student representative on the School Committee.   She looks forward to learning and growing from her experience as a student representative to the School Committee over the next two years.

Yessenia Tejeda, School Committee Student Representative
Yessenia Tejeda, School Committee Student Representative

Yessenia Tejeda is originally from Mexico, and moved to the United States when she was four years old. She speaks fluent Spanish and English, and is in the process of learning French. She has attended Waltham Public Schools since she arrived; she took ESL classes when she was younger, and tested out in grade three. Now she takes all honors classes and will take her first AP classes as a Junior. She is very focused on school and thrives for a good future. She participates in school activities such as sports and clubs and hopes to be part of the Freshman Mentor Program this coming fall. She is thankful for the opportunity to join the School Committee.

Jaison Patel, School Committee Student Representative
Jaison Patel, School Committee Student Representative

Jaison Patel has come a long way to become the social, friendly, and bright sophomore he is today.  His first hobbies sprouted from the time he was an 8-year old boy, when he began to make origami for his friends and family.  His interests shifted to inventing; over the next four years, as he started to materialize his abstract ideas, turning them into physical objects he could use daily.  Throughout middle school, Jaison’s passion for math grew, as he participated in, and won, the pi-contest consecutive times (once memorizing 314 digits of pi). 

As the socially rough road of middle school passed by, Jaison emerged as a new person his freshman year at Waltham High School, when he earned his best grades to date and became more immersed in school activities, clubs, and sports than ever before.  His last two years at WHS have been the best years of his life, which Jaison now realizes is due to the friendly environment around him.  He has made countless friends and connections with various groups of people, including teachers.  Jaison understands the importance of having a stable environment, such as that of WHS, and how it can affect the academic, and personal, lives of all the people in it.  Jaison’s revolving list of interests currently hint that he wants to become an entrepreneur in the STEM field.

Mrs. Marian K Parrella: Administrative Assistant to the School Committee

Contact: marianparrella@k12.waltham.ma.us / (781) 314-5401

 

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