WOBURN – Deputy Superintendent Dr. Michael Baldassarre late last month accepted an offer to serve as Acting Superintendent of Uxbridge Public Schools.
After narrowly missing out on a handful of other open superintendencies in western Massachusetts this spring, Baldassarre beat another runner-up in early June for the superintendency of the small Worcester County public school district.
At a more recent school board meeting on June 23, Uxbridge officials voted unanimously to sign a one-year contract with the Woburn administrator, who will earn $160,000 next year in as acting district chief.
Woburn Superintendent Dr Matthew Crowley will respond to the latest developments by recommending an interim replacement to serve in Baldassarre’s place. The school committee will be asked to approve his successor at a rare Thursday morning meeting in the boardroom at Joyce Middle School on July 7.
The regular rally will begin at 8:15 a.m. and is scheduled to be broadcast live by the Woburn Public Media Center via its YouTube channel.
Named as one of the leading candidates for Uxbridge superintendence in early June, Baldassarre became a clear favorite for the leadership post after the town’s school board spent two nights in early June debating the merits of his candidacy.
Ultimately, the assistant superintendent was selected because of his familiarity with student assessments and his attitude about the appropriate use of this test data, his desire to involve parents and families in the education of their children and his ability to immediately develop a relationship with Uxbridge educators during a recent visit.
“His educational philosophy is what I believe…He sees higher-level learning as more important than [what happens within] the school walls and what happens from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It’s a big picture for me in a changing world,’ Uxbridge school committee member Debbie Stark, Woburn’s trustee, said during deliberations earlier this month.
“Security was something he mentioned from the start. And I think our staff have been through hell for the past two years and they need support [and to feel safe too]Uxbridge school board member Barry Desroisseaux later remarked. “[Over the past few days], I heard from a number of staff. Some of them had interactions with both contestants and each of them leaned towards Michael. I have to deal with this.
Woburn’s first-ever assistant superintendent for student services, Baldassarre in May was named a finalist for two separate superintendent openings in Marlborough and Sutton.
Although he was ultimately passed over for both jobs, in his interviews with school officials in both communities along the I-495 beltway, he made clear his desire to return to a senior leadership position after having spent most of the last decade as a student services administrator. . Baldassarre’s resume includes a former superintendent position, as he worked for six years as the head of a regional school system in Orange, Massachusetts.
“My preparation led me to become a superintendent more than 10 years ago. And from that moment until now superintendence has been in my DNA,” he commented during a job interview at Marlborough earlier this spring. “I prepared myself in every way, shape and form with regards to school finances, student welfare, curriculum, achievement, community and family involvement, [and] grant management and procurement.
“I have come to a time in my life where it is time. I am almost 50 years old and I am looking for a superintendency. My wife and I and our four children gravitate to this part of the state,” he later explained.
During his roughly four-year tenure at Woburn, Baldassare gained a reputation as a strong advocate for students of all backgrounds. Before coming to the city, he worked as the Director of Special Education for Everett Public Schools.
Earning a doctorate in education from UMass Lowell in 2014, Baldassarre began his career in 2001 as the dean of discipline at Xaverian Brothers High School, a private all-boys school in Westwood.
His administrator journey then shifted to the public school realm in 2003, when he accepted a vice-principal position at Stoughton. He then worked as a principal at Gardner High School, before moving into central office positions.
Since being brought to Woburn in 2018, Baldassarre has repeatedly received praise from Crowley and the local school board for securing state grants and initiating new partnerships with nonprofits like the Woburn Boys & Girls Club.