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EPS Makes Three Additions to its Leadership Team

District Welcomes New EL, Equity, and
Community Engagement Directors


The Everett Public Schools (EPS) is honored to officially announce the appointment of three talented and dedicated individuals to separate leadership positions that are essential to the district’s instruction, outreach, and equity initiatives and mission.

Kelly-Ann Cooney, who has more than 20 years of demonstrated experience in teacher development and boosting student outcomes, has been named Director of English Learners (EL). Cory McCarthy, a veteran educator, leader, and mentor who spent 2020-21 as Everett High School’s Vice Principal, is transitioning to the newly-created role of Chief Equity Officer. And Jeanette Velez is joining the district from the Chelsea/Revere Family Network and will serve in the position of Community Engagement Manager, a role designed to form strong and sustained relationships among students, parents, families, public agencies, and community-based organizations.

“These are tremendous additions to our district,” said Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani. “Their passion, professionalism, and advocacy will be an asset on every level, from teaching and learning to family engagement. These educators and leaders will be essential not only to our immediate preparations for the upcoming school year but also to meeting our long-term goals and objectives.”

More about these talented individuals and these important roles:

Director of English Language Learners

As the EPS EL Director, Kelly-Ann Cooney will oversee the successful operation of all of the district’s English Learning education from grades Pre-K through 12. She comes to Everett after serving in the same capacity for the Nantucket, Southbridge, and Fall River public school districts from 2012 through the end of this past school year.

“Kelly-Ann’s wide range of experience and A to Z knowledge of EL teaching and learning makes her an ideal fit for the Everett Public Schools,” said Superintendent Tahiliani. “She is perfectly suited to help our teachers and administrators on all levels, from classroom instruction to district-wide program enhancements.”

Cooney’s career spans two decades. Well equipped with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and French from the University of Rhode Island and a Masters of Arts in Roman Languages from the University of Oregon, she taught English as a foreign language in France, Oregon, and Japan. 

After earning a Masters in Education from Boston College in 1998, Cooney’s career in public education began in Lincoln, Mass. From 2003-2012 where she taught ESL in the Boston Public Schools and served as a mentor, curriculum developer, and team leader. She served as an adjunct professor at Boston University from 2016-2018, teaching graduate courses in bilingualism and Structured English Immersion for administrators.

Cooney moved into full-time administration in 2012, leading Fall River’s Title 3 EL program, encompassing more than 1,000 students. She served the same position in Southbridge and Nantucket, fulfilling all of the duties and responsibilities the EPS was seeking in its new director.

“Kelly-Ann’s background is substantial, and that is evident from even a quick review of her work experience,” Superintendent Tahiliani said. “More important is her philosophy and approach to EL teaching and learning, as well as her commitment to professional development, accountability, and transparency.”

Chief Equity Officer

After joining the EPS from the Boston Public Schools in the summer of 2020, Cory McCarthy is moving from Vice Principal of EHS to the role of Chief Equity Officer, in which he will develop and implement short- and long-range equity goals.

“Cory made a major impression on Everett High School and our students as Vice Principal, and we are anxious for him to drive positive changes across all schools and grade levels,” said Superintendent Tahiliani. “He is a dynamic and energetic leader poised to take on these critical challenges.”

As Chief Equity Officer, McCarthy will lead the district’s efforts to sustain a culture of equity and inclusion for all students by narrowing the gaps between the highest and lowest performing students and by eliminating the racial disproportionality between student groups that occupy the highest and lowest achievement categories. He will plan, organize, and direct initiatives related to diversity, equity and outreach. 

During the past year, McCarthy took on numerous roles as an instructional leader and an advocate for students. Under his direction, EHS implemented several programs, from a test-prep partnership with LIVIUS to college and career events to a full array of engaging and educational Zoom sessions, presentations, discussions, and special events. 

Prior to joining EHS, McCarthy was a part of the New Mission High School leadership team in Boston, helping the school earn an EdVestors’ $100k School on the Move Prize, the National Blue Ribbon School for Improvement designation, and the Title One Distinguished School Award. 

“Cory’s tirelessness and creativity will be invaluable to our efforts to develop a strategic and systemic framework for inclusivity, professional growth among staff, and positive student outcomes across all grade levels,” said Superintendent Tahiliani. 

Community Engagement Manager

Jeanette Velez is the district’s first-ever Community Engagement Manager, after building her career as community leader, advocate, and a professional in the field of early-childhood education. 

She will be charged with leading EPS efforts to form and expand on relationships that connect our students and families to the Everett community at large by facilitating two-way communication and creating a strong bridge between the voices of the community and the school district’s many teachers, staff members, and leaders.

“Jeanette will work with our established team of Family Liaisons to greatly expand and enhance our community outreach,” said Superintendent Tahiliani. “Her experience is a perfect fit for the Everett Public Schools, and I am excited for our families to meet and work with her in the very near future.”
Velez comes to the EPS with 20 years experience in early-childhood education.  Since 2013, she served as a coordinator for the Chelsea/Revere Family Network,  a community-based information and resource hub for all families in the community in order to increase knowledge of and accessibility to high-quality early education, care programs and services. In addition, Velez is currently serving her fifth term on the Chelsea School Committee. Over the years, she has been an active member of her community, serving on the boards of Chelsea Pop Warner, Chelsea Little League, Chelsea Youth Basketball, and the school councils at the Kelley Elementary and Clark Avenue Middle schools.

“Both in her role as School Committee Chair and Family Network Coordinator, Jeanette has successfully and artfully connected multiple groups of stakeholders to work through issues and strategically plan supports for students and families,” said Superintendent Tahiliani. 

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