Mass Insight Education & Research (Mi), a Boston-based nonprofit dedicated to improving public school performance and closing the achievement gap, honored Dr. Pia Durkin, superintendent of New Bedford Public Schools, with the Michael G. Contompasis Leadership Award at the sixth annual Partners in Excellence Awards Ceremony at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area in Princeton, MA.
The Contompasis Leadership Award is given to a Massachusetts educator who has dedicated their career to closing achievement gaps and preparing students for college and career success.
“Dr. Durkin has always shown a deep investment in helping students succeed in the classroom,” said Dr. Susan Lusi, president & CEO of Mi. “She is a tireless champion for students and strives to ensure that their needs always come first. She has been an excellent partner to Mass Insight and we look forward to continuing to collaborate with her and gain from her experience in the future.”
The award is named after legendary educator Michael Contompasis who served as an executive at Mi for several years and helped build the organization’s school improvement programs. Mr. Contompasis, who was there to present the award to Dr. Durkin, said: “Pia is an exceptional leader and an example of the positive change that is possible when a superintendent is willing to go the extra mile. It’s my honor to present her with this award.”
Of the recognition, Dr. Durkin said “I proudly accept this award on behalf of my team in New Bedford. With Headmaster Bernadette Coelho, our teachers are the ones who “live and breathe” what ‘high expectations’ mean for every student in expanding the access and quality of our Advanced Placement courses. At New Bedford High School, we have continued to forge different pathways toward graduation so that every student can excel – by becoming engaged in accelerated learning programs at the middle school level, taking the risk of enrolling in a first-time-ever AP class, or attaining the coveted College Board Capstone Diploma.”
In addition to Dr. Durkin’s award, the Partners in Excellence Awards Ceremony honors high school teachers from across Massachusetts for their exceptional dedication to helping underserved students succeed in rigorous Advanced Placement (AP) STEM and English classes, putting them on the path to college and career success. Twenty-nine outstanding teachers were honored during the event for their work in supporting student success in rigorous AP science, math, and English classes. Mi partners with over 75 Massachusetts high schools helping 10,000 students get an early start to college success.
About Mass Insight Education & Research:
Founded in Boston in 1997, Mass Insight Education & Research is a national leader in accelerating student learning and shrinking achievement gaps. We help school systems develop and implement cost-effective school improvement solutions. Our field-tested approach starts with asking questions to understand context and conditions. Leveraging strengths, we build coherence, capacity, and networks to accelerate learning. Our performance improvement results are among the most promising in the field of public education today. For more information, visit www.massinsight.org.