The Eliot K-8 Innovation School’s Governing Board is charged with carrying out the school’s mission and vision and setting forth school policies. The Board is responsible for implementing the autonomies granted to the school as part of its “innovation” status including staffing, calendar/schedules, curriculum and governance.
The Board assumes the responsibilities of the old School Site Council specifically in regards to budget approval and staff hiring. It provides oversight similar to that of the Boston Public Schools Committee, but is more familiar with the Eliot’s individual needs and therefore, more responsive. The Board consists of 14–16 persons: four community members or partners, four faculty members, four parent representatives and 2–4 school administrators. Parents and community members may bring any issue to any Governing Board member for addition to the agenda and may present during the open hour of meetings from 5–6 pm.
January 14, 2019
February 12, 2019
March 26, 2019
April 9, 2019
May 21, 2019
June 11, 2019
Governing Board Members
Israel Ruiz, Chair
Israel is the Executive Vice President and Treasurer of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Prior to becoming EVP and Treasurer in 2011, Mr. Ruiz held different positions at MIT, including Vice President for Finance and Director of Finance.
Since 2009, Israel has become progressively involved at the Eliot and in Boston’s public schools and education. Israel served as co-chair of the Eliot Family Council for three years, where he had the pleasure to work with Principal Traci Walker-Griffith and with many wonderful Eliot families at the crucial time of becoming an Innovation school and securing a critical expansion to three physical locations for the school. Israel’s three children attend the Eliot School.
Israel also served on Mayor Menino’s appointed External Advisory Committee on Improving School Choice. His committee recommended a school assignment process, later approved by the School Committee that offered a path to improving quality and equitable access for all Boston students.
Mr. Ruiz holds a master’s degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a degree in engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, in his native Barcelona. Before joining MIT, he worked at Hewlett-Packard and Nissan Automotive.
Mary Wright, Community Member
Mary has been an RN for over 30 years. She decided to pursue a Masters in Education degree when she was working as an ER nurse and learned about the importance of the nurse as an educator. Mary saw that patients and their families needed to be taught how to care for themselves after an injury or illness but, more importantly, how to prevent injury and illness. Mary began working at North End Waterfront Health, formerly North End Community Health Center, in 1997 on the tobacco grant where the importance of prevention was presented in many ways. This led to establishing several programs that teach students the consequences of substance use. She focused on tobacco because it is considered a gateway drug and if we are able to prevent students from smoking, we may be able to prevent them from using other drugs. As the problem of bullying increased Mary was able to attend trainings and begin to help kids see the damage that they inflict on each other.
Mary began working with the Eliot School in 1997 as part of the health center’s longstanding collaboration with the school. It was an honor for her to be invited to join the Governing Board of the Eliot School and to help the school grow as an Innovation School.Her other duties at the health center include being the Nurse Educator. This means that she help patients with chronic conditions manage their disease and lead healthier lives. Mary is the Outreach Coordinator for the health center and the chair of the Outreach Committee. All aspects of her job include ways to help people stay healthy. Mary is also a board member of North End Against Drugs and a member of the North End Christmas Fund Luncheon Committee.
Traci Walker Griffith, Principal
Traci Walker Griffith is the proud Principal of the Eliot School, a Boston Public Innovation School serving amazing scholars in grades K0 through 8. Having just celebrated her 10th anniversary as the Eliot School Principal, Traci has been a part of the Boston Public School system since 1982, serving as both a teacher and administrator. Under her leadership, the Eliot has become a supportive professional learning community that embraces high standards for both adults and students, progressing from a state-identified, under-performing school in 2007 to recognition as a Commendation School in 2010, 2011, and 2012. Traci’s dedication to “excellence for all” can be seen in all aspects of the Eliot School in opportunities created for both students and faculty. Fostering a life-long love of learning while supporting a students’ social and emotional growth has been a theme throughout Traci’s career, and can be seen whether she’s engaging with an Eliot scientist or teaching social development in a pick up soccer game.
Traci was awarded a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study in Educational Administration from the University of Massachusetts, a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Lesley University, and a Bachelor’s of Education in Elementary Education from Plymouth State University. She currently lives with her husband, John, in Charlestown, MA. Her two children, Joe and Elizabeth, are both former Eliot School students, currently studying at Boston Latin School.
Lydia Torres, Assistant Principal
Janes Buelto, Family Member
Petey Prinn, Family Member
Rich Demerol, Family Member
Ross Wilson, Family Member
Ross Wilson is the Executive Director of the Shah Family Foundation, a local foundation supporting education, health care and community in Boston. Ross previously served as Deputy Superintendent and Chief of Staff for the Boston Public Schools. He has also served in a variety of roles in BPS including Assistant Superintendent for Human Capital, Principal, kindergarten teacher, literacy specialist, and teacher of students with disabilities. Dr. Wilson holds Bachelors Degrees in Special Education, Elementary Education, and Psychology, and a Masters Degree in Educational Psychology from Marist College; a Masters Degree in Education Leadership from the University of Massachusetts Boston; a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Boston College and is an alumni of Harvard Business School. Ross and his wife, Lesia, live in Charlestown and are the proud parents of three boys who attend the Eliot School.
Jodi Krous, Faculty Member
Jodi Krous is in her tenth year teaching an inclusive Pre-K classroom in the Boston Public Schools at the Eliot K-8 Innovation School in the North End. As part of her role as a team leader, Jodi supports teacher leadership within the school by serving as a liaison with administration. Jodi is devoted to connecting her practice, team, and students through leadership to the district and their current development. Jodi has worked in partnership with the Department of Early Childhood in the facilitation of the Making Learning Visible course for the past five years. In collaboration, with researchers from Project Zero she was the focus of a documentation video called The Color Investigation that looked at the role of documentation and group learning through the lens of a classroom project on color. Jodi is the recipient of the Sontag Prize in Urban Education and has served a range of children with intensive instruction since 2009 in both Boston and Lawrence. In addition, she has received the Fund for Teachers grant where she collaborated with a mentor teacher to travel to Reggio Emilia to deeply look at instruction. She graduated from Boston Teacher Residency and holds an M.A. from The University of Massachusetts Boston.
Aimee Gallego, Faculty Member
Aimee Galego joined the Eliot faculty in September of 2015. She has been a teacher with Boston Public Schools for twelve years and has seventeen years of teaching experience overall. Aimee provides small group intervention services to many of our high needs students in grades K2-3. She is excited to be a member of such a collaborative working environment and to be joining in the work to help all students reach high levels of academic achievement.
Sean Murphy, Faculty Member
Stacey Head, Family Council
An Eliot parent since 2012, Stacey is co-chair of the Eliot Family Council and a board member of the Friends of the Eliot 501c3. She and her husband have two children at the Eliot (grades 1 and 4) with the third to start K1 next year. They live in the South End.
Stacey is currently a Director at Harvard University in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Office of Capital Giving and Interim Senior Director for Campaign Volunteer Management. She manages a team of fundraisers, works with a portfolio of major and principal gift alumni/ae and parents, leads development strategy for the Boston region and oversees the volunteer management team. She began her career at Harvard in 2005 and has spent her full professional career in development roles serving both the arts and higher education.
Stacey is a graduate of Gettysburg College where she earned her BA in English Literature and Sociology.
Lynne Johnson, Union Representative
Morgan Atkins, Coordinator of Culture and Climate
Drew Linder, Director of Operations