Arlington Public Schools Welcomes New Leaders

Headshot of Kelley Bostwick


Kelley Bostwick

Special Education Coordinator, Ottoson Middle School, Gibbs Sixth Grade School

Ms. Bostwick comes into her new position in the district with significant experience, having worked in a similar role in the Reading Public Schools. She served as a Special Education administrator for the last 12 years. Prior to that, Ms. Bostwick spent 13 years as a Special Education teacher in Ohio, Maryland, and Massachusetts at the elementary and middle school level. Her prior experience includes acting as Team Chairperson, serving as a Preschool Director, and serving as a member of the Massachusetts Pyramid Model State Leadership Team for five years. 

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Ms. Bostwick earned her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Kent State University. She followed this with a Masters Degree in School Administration from American International College. She and her husband Michael became Massachusetts residents 20 years ago, and they currently reside in Palmer.

Ten of Ms. Bostwick’s teaching years were spent at the middle school level, and she is excited to return there. Outside of education, she is recognized as a music producer by the recording industry. Along with her husband, she holds three Guinness World Records for Longest Officially Released Song. The last one was over 13 hours!  



Headshot of Octavia Brauner


Octavia Brauner

Interim Mathematics and Computer Science Director


The interim APS PreK-12 Mathematics and Computer Science Director, Octavia Brauner, comes to us with 16 years of teaching experience, all with the Arlington Public Schools. This year Ms. Brauner is looking forward to working with and building relationships with the teachers, coaches, and interventionists. Her goal is to support the staff in the great work they are already doing and to learn more about the district's math instructional practices PreK-12, with an interest in looking at vertical alignment at the secondary level. 


Prior to teaching, Ms. Brauner worked as a Development Engineer at Millipore Corporation. Ms. Brauner holds a Master of Mathematics Teaching from Boston University, a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering from M.I.T., and a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University. 


Outside of working in education and engineering, Ms. Brauner has explored other interests, such as working as a fitness instructor, backpacking through New Zealand, and even selling cars! More recently, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children, as well as a dog, a cat, and two parakeets.



Headshot of Matthew Coleman


Matthew Coleman

Director of Data, Research, and Accountability


As the new Director of Data, Research, and Accountability, Mr. Coleman is on a mission to make data a teacher's best friend, ensuring it's accessible, useful, and actionable. With 26 years of educational expertise, he is no stranger to the power of teaching and learning. But he's not just about the theories and numbers; over his career, he's been in the trenches, teaching mathematics to students from sixth grade up to the university level. Before stepping into his new role, Mr. Coleman was the APS Mathematics and Computer Science Director. 


Currently, Mr. Coleman is on the cusp of earning his Ed.D in Educational Leadership from Boston College's Professional School Administrators Program (PSAP). It's safe to say learning and leading are in his DNA.


When the spreadsheets are closed, and the data is crunched, Mr. Coleman swaps equations for recipes in the kitchen, trails in the mountains, and quality moments with family.



Headshot of Marguerite Connolly

Marguerite (Midge) Connolly

Interim Principal, Hardy Elementary School


Dr. Connolly is returning to the role of school principal after spending eight years in the Weston Public Schools, first as Director of Student Services for two years and then as Superintendent for six years. She assumed those roles after serving as the Principal of Central High School in Newton, Vice Principal at Newton North High School, Principal at the Williams Elementary School in Newton, and Assistant Principal at the O’Donnell Middle School in Stoughton. Dr. Connolly has also been a Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Placement, fifth grade and special needs teacher, and an elementary curriculum coordinator


After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary & Moderate Special Needs Education at Boston College, Dr. Connolly went on to pursue her masters in Severe Special Education there. She received her Master of Education at Harvard, and her Doctor of Philosophy at the Boston College Lynch School of Education.


The attributes and skills that Dr. Connolly brings to Hardy include her expertise in instructional leadership, commitment to equity for all students, and her deep knowledge of special education and SEL strategies and programs.



Headshot of Amy Kelly


Amy Kelly

Principal, Stratton Elementary School


Ms. Kelly joins the district after serving as the K-12 Director of Equity and Learning in the Weston Public Schools. Her prior experience includes serving as the K-12 Director of Social Emotional Learning and as Principal of the Franklin Elementary school in Newton. Additionally, Ms. Kelly has been the Assistant Principal of an intermediate and an elementary school in Marlborough and has taught second, third, and fourth grade and physical education..


After receiving her BA in Architecture and Art History from Hobart and William Smith Colleges and Columbia University, Ms. Kelly began her focus on education, earning a Masters of Education in Elementary Education at Boston College and her Certification in Education Administration at Lesley University.


Ms. Kelly is a collaborative leader with experience in change management and team building. She is committed to fostering an inclusive community and engaging families, students, and staff in decision-making.



Headshot of Eva Liner


Eva Liner

Principal, Bishop Elementary School


After serving as Interim Principal at Bishop during the 2022-2023 school year, Ms. Liner assumed the role of Principal in July. Prior to this, she served APS as Assistant Principal and as co-leader of the 2020-2021 Remote Academy. Past experience includes being an Assistant Principal in Walpole and Needham. She has been a teacher and school leader for the past 23 years.


Ms. Liner received her Bachelor or Arts in Political Science from Denison University and her Masters in Education from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education. Her educational background also includes the Leadership Licensure Program (LLP) through Massachusetts School Administrators’ Association (MSSA) and Teachers 21.  


Ms. Liner is committed to engaging and rigorous instruction in settings that are equitable and accessible to all students. She has expertise in SEL and positive behavior reinforcement as well as deep instructional knowledge. She will work to formulate and implement strategies for helping Bishop become more inclusive, particularly when it comes to establishing access and belonging for all students, staff and families. 


When not at school, she enjoys spending time with her husband, also an educator, and two children. Hobbies include hiking with her dogs, spending time with family and friends, baking, and traveling to the Cape.


Headshot of Shayla Lowe


Shayla Lowe

Interim METCO Director


Ms. Lowe enters her new position after serving the district METCO program as a Clinical Social Worker for elementary and middle school students since 2021. In this position she was able to develop and cultivate enduring bonds with students, educators, and leaders. Her previous social work experience includes YouthConnect - District B2: Roxbury Boston Police Department Boys & Girls Clubs of Boston, Roxbury, and working as a Youth Advocate at the Community Arts Center in Cambridge.


Ms. Lowe received her BA in Liberal Arts with a Specialization in Psychology from Lesley University. She is a licensed Social Worker and received her  MSW from the Simmons school of Social Work.



Headshot of Magali Olander


Magali Olander

Director of SEL & School Counseling


Ms Olander comes to her new position after serving as interim director for several months during the 2023-2024 school year. A licensed clinical social worker for over twenty years, she has served as a school social worker and building administrator at APS and Chelsea Public Schools. Her background also includes providing community-based mental health services and serving the penitentiary systems in Massachusetts and California.


After achieving a Bachelor of Arts in Government with a concentration in Women’s Studies from Cornell University, Ms. Olander obtained a Master of Social Work with a concentration in Forensic Social Work from Simmons College. Her educational background also includes a Master of Organizational Management from the Educational Leadership Institute at Endicott College.


Ms. Olander sees the primary role of the Director of SEL & School Counseling as supporting the people who support our students to ensure we are continuously centering the holistic needs of all members of our school communities, our students, their families, and colleagues. She looks forward to developing and implementing a vision for the integration of SEL into instruction and academic spaces, and growing and refining multi-tiered systems of identifying and addressing mental health needs.


Magali lives in Arlington with her husband and two daughters, both Arlington Public Schools alums. With family all over the country as well as in France, Italy, and England traveling is a treasured opportunity. When in Arlington, Magali loves to go hiking with her dog Zach and spending quality time with local family and friends.


Headshot of Kate Peretz


Kate Peretz

Leadership and Onboarding Program Developer


Ms. Peretz has been an educator for 27 years in three districts. She taught fifth and sixth grade in Acton-Boxborough (AB) for 17 years. As a teacher-leader for AB, she worked as the chair of the Professional Rights and Responsibilities committee for the local teacher association and was the coordinator of the Beginning Teacher Mentor Program PK-12. In 2014, Kate became a building leader in Franklin, MA. Kate was most recently the principal of Hardy Elementary in Arlington and was in that position for 5 years. 


In the spring of 2022, Ms.Peretz joined the APS Strategic Planning Committee and she is thrilled by the work completed with the support of such a wide range of stakeholders. She is continuing that focus in her current role as Leadership Development and Onboarding Program Designer as she develops sustainable plans that support it in the future.. Additionally, she is working with new administrators across the district as she develops and begins implementation of a system for supportive and thorough onboarding processes. This new position is supported by a grant.


Kate holds a BA in Communications with a focus on journalism from Fordham University and a Master’s Degree in Literacy and Language from Framingham State University. She loves spending time with her family and friends and spends time outdoors running.



Weslie Etienne Pierre

Weslie Etienne Pierre

Director of Communications & Family Engagement

Mrs. Pierre brings over 15 years of experience in stakeholder engagement, leadership, coaching, curriculum development, and entrepreneurship to her new role in developing and supporting district-based family and community engagement systems and activities. In this new position, she leads a department that oversees all aspects of district level communications, registration and enrollment, and provides support to staff in creating a welcoming environment for all.


Mrs. Pierre’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a concentration in Counseling and Health from Boston’s Emmanuel College and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching with a focus on Special Education from Boston University. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Lesley University.


Her experiences as a first-generation Haitian-American student and educator fuels her passion for education and equity. She has led effective change in a variety of settings that include charter and public schools and nonprofits. Using her background in educational leadership, Mrs. Pierre has used professional development to support educators to improve their practitioner skills to impact student experience and learning, social-emotional needs, academic outcomes, and family engagement.



Headshot of Richelle Smith


Richelle Smith

Interim Assistant Principal, Ottoson Middle School


Ms. Smith comes to her new position as Assistant Principal after serving the Arlington Public Schools in a variety of ways since 2019. For the last two years she has been the METCO Director, a role that involved working closely with the Ottoson Middle School administration. Prior to that she was a Social Work Intern supporting the METCO program, a Community Partner Outreach Coordinator working with the SEL Director, and an Arlington High School club co-advisor working with Principal Matthew Janger.


Over the past two years Ms.Smith helped to pilot and maintain an OMS student-based affinity club called the BIPOC affinity group where she and Shayla Lowe (now Interim METCO director)  developed curriculum and activities around DEI initiatives including having more visible representation in the school. During this time the 2021 and 2022 the students were instrumental in getting the different flags of the world displayed in the cafeteria. She is currently working with APS Visual Arts Director Leo Muellner on an art project that would create opportunities for students to contribute to the aesthetics of the school building. She has committed to ride the OMS school bus once a month, and through this and her other work, looks forward to building connections with students, staff, caregivers, and community members. 


Ms. Smith brings a varied educational background to her new position. Her Bachelor of Arts degree in Business, Management, Marketing and Related Support Services was followed by a Master of Science in Management, both at Eastern Nazarene College. She was then a SIMPACT Scholar in the Simmons University Integrated Mental Health and Primary Care Clinic Training program. Ms. Smith’s most recent degree is a Master of Social Work and Urban Leader from Simmons where she received a Community Service award.


Ms. Smith continues to be active at Simmons University. She served as the Steering Committee Chair for the 2023 Black Alumni Symposium while serving as the Simmons University Vice President for the African American Alumni Association and has been on the Alumni Association DEI Board. In 2019 she received a public health hero acknowledgement from the Boston Public Health Commission and in 2022-2023 she served as the Professional Development Chair for the METCO Directors Association. Ms. Smith is currently on the Board of the Goodwill HELP program that assists adults to reenter the workforce and volunteers at the Boston Public Health Commission Homeless Service Bureau.



Headshot of Michael Vanderlaine


Michael Vanderlaine 

Assistant Principal, Brackett Elementary School


Mr. Vanderline  joins the Arlington Public Schools after a 12-year tenure at the Thorpe Elementary School in Danvers, MA. Most recently he served as an assistant to the principal and as a music, movement, and mindfulness teacher. His responsibilities included facilitating the learning of students in grades Pre-Kindergarten through five, including special education preschool classes, an early intensive learning center, a Kindergarten through five learning center, and supported classrooms. Teaching music classes, coordinating building schedules and staff coverages, student study teams, the school-based SEL committee, the school council, the incident management team, and the behavior management team were also part of Mr. Amaral’s role at Thorpe.


Seeking equitable outcomes for all students by fostering inclusive community connections and inclusion is of key importance to Mr. Amaral. While at Thorpe he facilitated the creation of school-wide comprehensive tier 1 programming aligning SEL, behavior support and management, and academic learning through a collaborative grassroots process that engaged students, families, and staff members.


Mr. Vanderlaine  is currently pursuing his doctorate at Lesley University’s Educational Leadership Program where, as a school climate and culture specialist with strengths in systems alignment, he is able to operationalize current research. This includes examining the nexus of multi-tiered systems of support, Social Emotional Learning, and supporting the intersectional identities of K-12 students and staff in public education settings. Prior to Lesley University, Mr. Vanderlaine completed coursework at Fitchburg State University. He earned his Master of Music Education at Gordon college, after pursuing his undergraduate studies at Eastern Nazarene.  


When not at Brackett, Mr. Vanderlaine enjoys spending time near the ocean, on a boat, getting lost in a good book, or having adventures with his husband, their golden retriever and cat. 



Headshot of Gretchen Vice


Gretchen Vice

Principal, Brackett Elementary School


An educator for over 25 years, Dr. Vice comes to the Arlington Public Schools after serving as the Dean of Faculty at The Advent School where she was an administrator since 2013. Her previous experience includes being an elementary school teacher and mathematics instructional coach. 


Dr. Vice holds a BA in Political Science from Emory University, a MSEd in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from Bank Street College, and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy from Fordham University. The focus of her dissertation was on the impact of co-teaching and new teacher leadership development on teacher retention.


Excellent instructional leadership knowledge and skills, and a deep understanding of the operational demands of the role of a school principal are some of the attributes that Dr. Vice brings to the Brackett community. She also brings a strong vision for the school’s future and strategies for communicating broadly with stakeholders that will establish access and belonging for all students, staff, and families.



Headshot of Dr. Mona Ford Walker


Dr. Mona Ford Walker
Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning

Dr. Mona Ford Walker joins the district after working in public education for 20 years. She has taught at the elementary level and was most recently Principal of the Winship Elementary School in Brighton, MA. The Winship School was designated a 2018 and 2019 Massachusetts School of Recognition and was a recipient of the 2021 National Blue Ribbon award.

Dr. Ford Walker holds a B.S in Elementary Education from Temple University, M.S. in Elementary Education from Cambridge College, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership from Simmons College and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Harvard University.  

Dr. Ford Walker’s passion for education is fueled by her familial history in public schooling. Her mother was a first grade teacher for over 30 years. It is her belief that creating student-centered learning environments must be a priority in public education if all students are to reach their full potential. She is committed to ensuring that all children acquire the knowledge and develop the skills and habits necessary to prepare them for success when they leave Arlington Public Schools.

Principal support, educational leadership, and curriculum support are some of the attributes Dr. Ford Walker brings to Arlington.