Meet Our Dynamic New Board Members

In addition to our new president, CPS welcomed five new board members, who bring a wealth and diversity of knowledge, experience and great ideas to our leadership. They are an extraordinarily impressive—yet approachable—group. Here are brief biographical descriptions and comments from some of the newest members of our team. 

Susan Dargan

Susan Dargan – Susan is a professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at Framingham State University. After undergraduate studies at Simmons College, she got her Ph.D. in sociology from Boston University, with a focus on race and ethnic relations. At FSU, she teaches a number of courses, including Race and Ethnic Relations, Investigating Social Forces in American Society, Sociology of Work and Internship. She also chairs the FSU Committee on Diversity and Inclusion and serves on the Northborough-Southborough Regional School Committee. About joining the CPS board, Susan says, “I have joined CPS because my experiences as a professor at a public higher education institution and as an elected school committee member have left me very concerned about disinvestment in our public schools. CPS is one of the only organizations out there that has dedicated itself to ensuring that all children receive an adequately-funded education that is focused on the needs of the whole child.”

Eleanor Duckworth

Eleanor Duckworth – Eleanor Duckworth is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the author of several books including The Having of Wonderful Ideas: And Other Essays on Teaching and Learning and “Tell Me More”: Does the apostrophe go first or the colon? Listening to Learners Explain. A former student and translator of Jean Piaget, she grounds her work in Piaget’s insights into the nature and development of understanding and in his research method, which she has developed as a teaching/research approach, Critical Exploration in the Classroom. She is interested in the experiences of teaching and learning of people of all ages, both in and out of schools. Duckworth is a former elementary school teacher and has worked in curriculum development, teacher education, and program evaluation in the United States, Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and her native Canada. She is a coordinator for Cambridge United for Justice with Peace, and is a performing modern dancer. Like Susan Dargan, Eleanor stressed that now is the time for those who care about public schools to step up and get to work. “This is an absolutely critical time for public education. Public schools have never been under such attack. Citizens for Public Schools knows this and knows how to take action. CPS has a record of saying what needs to be said, in productive ways that can be heard by the public. I am honored to be a part of this organization.”

Jose Lopez

Jose Lopez – Jose Lopez serves as the co-chair of the Coalition for Equal Quality Education (CEQE) and is a founding member of  the Teachers Activist Group Boston (TAG Boston). The product of a public school education, Jose knows that it is possible to provide quality educational experiences for children in traditional public school settings. That knowledge lies at the foundation of his own work as an educator in Boston’s public schools. Recognizing the gap between the current reality of inequities and the possibilities of what an educational experience could be here in Boston, the “Athens of America,” Jose has continued his advocacy work outside the classroom. He is currently a student at Suffolk University Law School where he hopes to become a more effective advocate. He had this to say: “The framers of the Massachusetts Constitution explicitly charged the Commonwealth with ‘cherish[ing]’ its duty to provide a quality educational experience to all of its citizens, and I am delighted to stand among others of this noblest station, citizens, to assist the Commonwealth in fulfilling this most sacred duty.”

John Maher

John Maher – John  Maher came of age in the 1960s and has been in the thick of things ever since: as an organizer, a factory worker, a school teacher, and an educator. He is the former director of Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts and author of the book, Learning from the Sixties. Soon after graduating from Harvard College, Maher became a political activist. In the sixties, he was a New Left organizer and a leader of Vietnam Summer as well as the anti-war movement. He has taught in Boston and Somerville public schools. In an interview about his memoir and his views on political organizing, Maher said, “I think the other thing that I learned from the very beginning, but have to keep relearning, is that if you want to build a political movement, you have to really get out there and talk to people. You’ve got to listen to them and you’ve got to try to figure out where they’re at.”

Theresa Perry

Theresa Perry – Dr. Perry is a Professor of Africana Studies and Education at Simmons College and Director of the Simmons College/Beacon Press “Race, Democracy and Education” Lecture and Publishing Series. She has a doctorate in Human Development from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Perry’s research and work in schools has recently focused on the development of a theory of practice for African American Achievement and educational environments that normalize high achievement for Black students. She has worked with schools and school systems throughout the country. Her areas of expertise include African American language, teacher preparation, school-college-community partnerships and culturally responsive teaching practices. She is working on a research study that examines the relationship of the “organizational habitus” of a school or program to the construction of social identities of achievement by African American children and youth. In her introduction to the book Quality Education as a Constitutional Right, Perry wrote, “Now is the time for ordinary people to be heard, to demand that the government at all levels (federal, state, and local) guarantee qual­ity education, and for ordinary people to offer robust descriptions of quality education, ones that can be encoded in law and monitored by appropriate governmental agencies as well as an organized and vigi­lant public.”

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