MacNeil replaces Dr. Bobby Lyons; begins post Aug. 2
CHELMSFORD, MA (July 28, 2021) – Erin MacNeil, native of Medford, Mass., was named the Dean of Emerson House at Chelmsford High School, CHS Principal Steve Murray and Superintendent of Schools Jay Lang announced Wednesday.
Ms. MacNeil replaces Dr. Bobby Lyons, who recently accepted the Associate Principal position at his alma mater Waltham High School. Dr. Lyons had served as Dean of Emerson House since 2013.
“Ms. MacNeil has over 13 years of classroom and administrative experience and expertise in supporting students and staff through professional development initiatives, restorative justice practices, and school planning,” said Mr. Murray. “Her ability to cultivate genuine and enduring relationships with members of the school community makes her a perfect fit for CHS. Ms. MacNeil believes that every student can learn, regardless of their challenges, and she works hard at creating and sustaining a positive learning environment. We welcome her to CHS and are very excited that she will be part of our school community.”
Ms. MacNeil spent the last five years as the Assistant Principal of Lowell Catholic H.S., and eight years as a history teacher and department chair at St. Clement High School in Medford, Mass. She also doubled as an International Standard Classification of Education (ISCE) teacher at Tufts University for six years (2010-16) and began her career as a long-term substitute and paraprofessional in the Medford Public School system.
“I have worked with many people whose children attended CHS and who have worked there previously,” Ms. MacNeil said. “Everything they had to say about the community was positive and uplifting. Living a town away has given me the inside view into how important the schools are to the people who live in Chelmsford. They understand that for their town to grow and thrive, they need to educate their children to the best of their abilities.
“Once I walked into the interview with the students I was immediately at home,” she added. “The students obviously love their school and their CHS family and I wanted to be a part of that. They were welcoming and asked very thoughtful questions. The role itself is a perfect blend of what I love most about being a school administrator: direct access to the students and the ability to work hand and hand with a dedicated staff.”
During her tenure at Lowell Catholic H.S., Ms. MacNeil oversaw many areas including student behavior and attendance, teacher and staff evaluation, parent/community communication as well as the school’s crisis and risk assessment teams while working alongside the Lowell Police and Fire departments.
While teaching history at St. Clement H.S., Ms. MacNeil created new curriculum for each of the sociology, U.S. and world history classes while adhering to Boston Archdiocese and Massachusetts state standards. She also utilized the Writing Across the Curriculum standards (a focus on writing outside of composition, literature and traditional writing-based courses); co-chaired St. Clement’s Accreditation Team; and served as the Student Activities Advisor.
During her six years as an ISCE teacher at Tufts, Ms. MacNeil taught English Language Learning to students from Taiwan.
“My first goal is to meet and talk with as many students, parents, teachers and community members as possible,” Ms. MacNeil said. “My second is to observe and learn about all the CHS traditions and procedures while immersing myself in the day-to-day life as a Lion. My third goal would be to make sure my students and colleagues know that my door is always open. I want them to know that every decision I make, even the most difficult ones, are made in the best interests of the children. I want to listen to the stakeholders and make sure my students are safe and loved.”
Ms. MacNeil earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science (with a minor in Education) at UMass Boston and moved on to receive her master’s degree in Education Administration at Emmanuel College.
Ms. MacNeil lives in Billerica, Mass., with her husband, Chris, and their two sons, Will (6) and CJ (1).
About Chelmsford Public Schools
The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential. This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students. For more information, please visit www.chelmsfordschools.org.