BOSTON (SHNS) – Gov.-elect Maura Healey and Lt. Gov-elect Kim Driscoll are slowly building up their Cabinet, adding Patrick Tutwiler as education secretary on Friday.
Tutwiler has over 20 years of experience in public education as a high school history teacher, high school principal and superintendent of the Lynn Public Schools, according to Healey’s transition team. He currently works as senior program officer for education at the Boston-based Barr Foundation. According to LinkedIn, he was headmaster at Brighton High School for two years ending in 2015 and before that was principal of Wayland High School for six years ending in 2013.
In his current role, Tutwiler specializes in developing new high school models, Healey and Driscoll said. He’s worked in high schools around the state, and as Lynn superintendent, he increased graduation rates, hired a more racially diverse faculty and staff and established Massachusetts’ second largest early college program, according to Healey.
With education relief funds flowing into the state from the federal government, the state Student Opportunity Act and, soon, the new surtax on annual household income above $1 million, state education officials and advocates are all eyeing the large funding pot going into Healey’s first year as governor.
Healey has made campaign promises to expand early college programs, recruit and retain educators of color, assess the role of standardized testing in public schools and invest in public higher education — all hot topics in the education world. As for early childhood education, the governor-elect has said she supports the Common Start proposal, which would make child care free for the lowest-income families, limit child care costs for most families to no more than 7 percent of their income, and significantly increase pay for early educators to address workforce shortages in early education.
In his new role, Tutwiler will oversee discussions around these policies and contend with challenges schools are facing with pandemic learning loss and issues of poor mental health among students.
“Dr. Patrick Tutwiler has the experience, the empathy and the vision to make sure that every Massachusetts resident receives a high quality education at each stage of their life — from early education, to K-12 to higher education,” Healey said. “From his time working as a high school history teacher to leading a large, diverse, urban school district, he has earned his reputation as a consensus builder who puts diversity, equity and inclusion at the center of everything he does, and delivers results.”
With about three weeks until her inauguration, the announcement of Tutwiler’s appointment comes days after Healey announced her first Cabinet pick on Tuesday, Beacon Hill veteran Matthew Gorzkowicz for Administration and Finance Secretary.