Berkowitz Principal Adam Deleidi was described this week by Supt.-elect Almi Abeyta as a “servant leader,” which was precisely why she made him her first hire on the new leadership team – where he will now serve as assistant superintendent for student support.
It was over the last few months, she said, that she observed Deleidi as he worked at the Berkowitz and even at citywide staff meetings.
But it was the fact that he cut the cake that put him over the top.
“In my observations, I saw Adam was a servant-leader,” she said. “I have an appreciation for servant leadership. It was something as simple as taking charge and serving cake to everyone during a retirement party we had recently. I watched and looked at that. When something needs to be done, Adam does it.”
The hire of Deleidi cements the leadership team for Abeyta, who is still superintendent-elect as Supt. Mary Bourque remains until December to help usher her into the “Chelsea Way.” Most of the team remains the same, but Deleidi is being brought up from the ranks to fill the position of Priti Johari, who left the district in June for another position.
“I’m certainly sad to not be going through the door of the Berkowitz every day and working with the students,” he said. “However, I’m definitely excited about the challenge and eager to start going to work and learning all the little intricacies of the position.”
The position requires him to oversee student discipline, student attendance, special education, English Language Learners, social work, state compliance and many other aspects.
Deleidi has been at the Berkowitz for four years, but he also grew up in Chelsea and has deep roots here. He attended the old Mary C. Burke School, then went to the old Williams Junior High, and graduated from Dom Savio High in East Boston. He is in his 22nd year of teaching in a career that started at the Berkowitz. He also left the district to become an administrator in Revere for a time, but returned as the Principal of the Berkowitz.
“I’m a strong believer in listening and including people in decisions,” he said. “I like to get the input where the information lies. These are the people who know about the particular subject. I want their input about what we’re doing so it will be successful.”
Deleidi said he is excited to move to the Central Office because he will be able to impact more people and more students with his decisions.
Taking his place as the Berkowitz School will be Sean Simpson, who was introduced to the students last Friday. Simpson, a Chelsea resident, was a teacher at the Browne Middle and then was the ELL Coordinator for the last five years.
“He’s a dynamic leader and a very caring person,” said Abeyta. “Adam’s work at the Berkowitz will be in good hands with Sean.”