By Seth Daniel
After having worked in Boston schools, and having also served on the Chelsea School Committee, Lisa Lineweaver is bringing her talents this year to the very school where her own kids go – the Kelly School.
Joining Principal Maggie Sanchez, Lineweaver came on earlier this summer as the new assistant principal at the school – coming over after having worked in the same role at the Blackstone Elementary School in Boston’s South End for seven years.
Now, she’s back on this side of the Mystic/Tobin Bridge, and enjoying the idea of working where she lives – ready to welcome students back to school this coming Tuesday, Aug. 29.
“There were some changes coming at the Blackstone and I had worked there for seven years and saw this opportunity to come home to Chelsea,” she said. “It was a fantastic opportunity…There is so much I’ve learned in Boston that is a great compliment to what Chelsea and the Kelly School are doing. There are things I saw at the Kelly I borrowed for the Blackstone and things at the Blackstone that I have brought to the Kelly. I bring a few missing pieces of the puzzle.”
One interesting new experience for Lineweaver, whose husband is former Councillor Brian Hatleberg, is that she has also been a parent at the Kelly. Both of her daughters have attended the Kelly, with Holly moving on to the Browne Middle School this year. However, Hazel is still at the Kelly and going into the third grade.
“She keeps saying how cool it’s going to be to go to school with mom,” she said. “But it also means I bring a parent perspective to the job. We have this long, complicated school supply list. Do we need it to be that complicated? Do parents find it frustrating? It’s not a transformative change, but it can help parents. If someone is having trouble with something at the school, I have that connection. I live here. My kids are here too. We’re going to make this work for you.”
Beyond that, Lineweaver also brings the experience of having served on the Chelsea School Committee for eight years – just a few years ago leaving the seat.
She said that is an experience that helps her see beyond the four walls of the school building, and to bring a birds-eye view of the district and all of its moving pieces to the building.
Lineweaver completed her graduate degree from the Harvard School of Education in 2001 and worked for the Boston Plan for Excellence eight years before taking the job at the Blackstone.
Now, being home feels rather comfortable after so many years working elsewhere, she said.
“It feels like joining a community I have one or two feet in already,” she said.
Classes start for schools throughout the district on Tuesday, Aug. 29.