MEDWAY — Medway Public Schools and the Medway School Committee are pleased to announce that Superintendent Armand Pires has been nominated and elected as a member of the national group Suburban School Superintendents.
Suburban School Superintendents aims to improve the quality of educational opportunities, programs and services for children, staff and parents through meetings and other communications between members who share best practices for implementation in members’ districts.
The group was founded more than 50 years ago and is comprised of no more than 150 superintendents. Members are nominated by other active member superintendents. Nominees are selected based on leadership in educational research or program development, which would enable them to contribute significantly to a national perspective on suburban schools. The current members represent suburban school districts from 20 states.
Superintendent Pires has implemented many important plans, programs and initiatives since becoming superintendent in 2015. He was instrumental in the creation of a five-year 2016-2021 Strategic Plan for Medway Public Schools and led the work to define the district’s core values and issue a revised strategic plan, which serves as the current roadmap for success.
He has also demonstrated extraordinary fiscal management of district resources and remains committed to delivering a balanced and transparent budget that does not sacrifice programs or services, even when faced with unplanned budgetary challenges.
Superintendent Pires engages regularly with stakeholders, including community organizations, municipal leaders and bargaining units to deliver enhanced experiences for all students, including tuition-free full day kindergarten and new accessible playgrounds at both of Medway’s elementary schools.
He also leverages relationships with colleagues across the Commonwealth to keep abreast of key issues facing educators and engage in creative problem solving. Several innovative ideas have been explored and implemented in the district under Superintendent Pires’ leadership, including the hiring of a wellness director and an early focus on social-emotional learning and whole-child wellness.
Notably during his time as superintendent, Pires led the district through the COVID-19 pandemic. This included a progressive plan to get students safely back to school for full in-person learning, beginning with Pre-K-2 students in October 2020 and grades 3-4 as early as December 2020. All students Pre-K-12 were back in-person beginning on April 12. Additionally, many innovative safety precautions were put into place including the use of individual HEPA air filtration units in all indoor spaces months before they were a standard mitigation strategy, and the implementation of pooled testing for staff and students before many other districts in the Commonwealth.
Aside from his work leading the district, Superintendent Pires prioritizes teaching and learning personally as well, regularly making time to shadow teachers and students and visit classrooms.
“The association selects its members from the preeminent suburban school districts across the country, so for Dr. Pires to be accepted into this organization is a testament to the outstanding work he has done to elevate the profile of the Medway Public Schools,” School Committee Chair Susan Dietrich said. “His colleagues have recognized what we in Medway are fortunate to know: that his demonstrated commitment to principled leadership, strategic thinking, and innovation set him apart in his field and make him an asset to any professional organization.”
Dietrich added, “On a personal note, I have had the privilege of working closely with Dr. Pires in my last four years on the School Committee, and while I could say many things about his abilities and accomplishments, I have always been most impressed by his personal integrity and how sincerely he cares for the well-being of the students, faculty, and staff. Medway is honored to have Dr. Pires as our superintendent, and we look forward to a bright future with him at the helm.”
Superintendent Pires has also served on the ACCEPT Collaborative Board of Directors, The Education Cooperative (TEC) Board of Directors and is a member of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS) Executive Committee.
He was nominated for Suburban School Superintendents membership by Medfield Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Marsden and Needham Public Schools Superintendent Daniel Gutekanst.
“The Suburban School Superintendents provides an outstanding platform for professional development and connections with other district leaders across the country,” said Superintendent Marsden. “I nominated Armand because he is a trusted colleague and outstanding leader and will be a great fit for this organization.”
Added Superintendent Gutekanst, “Armand is a trusted school leader in Massachusetts and a valued colleague who I typically turn to for advice, fresh ideas and to collaborate on issues facing our schools. He is an ideal Superintendent to become a member of the Suburban School Superintendents organization.”
The Medway School Committee presented Superintendent Pires with a certificate acknowledging his nomination at its Sept. 9 meeting.