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November 27, 2009

CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
(617) 961-6682


Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral (top right corner) speaks with students at the Higginson/Lewis K–8 School in Roxbury during her tour as “Principal For A Day” while Ellen Parker, Executive Director of Project Bread and co–Principal looks on.

On Wednesday, November 18, Suffolk County Sheriff Andrea J. Cabral visited the Higginson/Lewis K–8 School in Roxbury to serve as “Principal For A Day.”

As stated by the Boston Plan for Excellence in the Public Schools Foundation, this annual event arranges for Boston–area leaders to spend a morning shadowing a principal in a school. It is a powerful public relations vehicle for the district, making the hard work of school improvement more visible. Community members rarely hear positive stories about schools in the media, and they almost never have opportunities to appreciate the challenging, complex work of Boston’s school leaders. Principal For A Day provides influential community members with a richer view of what really transpires in schools, a view which they then carry back into the community. It also forges relationships between school and community leaders, laying the basis for new partnerships that can ultimately support and strengthen school improvement efforts.

“Principal For A Day is an opportunity to connect Boston’s leaders from corporations, non–profits, and government to the Boston Public Schools,” said Dottie Engler, Director of Special Projects at Boston Plan for Excellence in the Public Schools. “We have found that there is no substitute for being in the school to accurately convey the challenges and see firsthand the vision of education in the Boston Public Schools.”

Marking the third year in which she has collaborated with the Boston Public Schools to take part in the annual event, Sheriff Cabral joined with co–Principal For A Day and Executive Director of Project Bread Ellen Parker to tour with Higginson/Lewis Principal Joy Salesman–Oliver and observe the school in its new configuration. The Higginson/Lewis School is the result of a consolidation of the former Henry L. Higginson Elementary School and the George A. Lewis Middle School into a K–8 school sited on the grounds of the Lewis School.

Beginning her day as “Principal,” Sheriff Cabral greeted students of the Higgenson/Lewis School as they exited their buses in the morning, before visiting several classrooms throughout the day. Along the way, Sheriff Cabral shared a variety of exchanges with students about her role and duties as the Sheriff of Suffolk County while stressing the importance of education. In addition to quizzing several students about their schoolwork and subjects, Sheriff Cabral also worked to impart on them the gravity and consequences of bullying.

At the day’s end, reflecting upon her past and present experiences as Principal For A Day, Sheriff Cabral was passionate in her support of the school and its administrators.

"The Higginson/Lewis is a great school with a team of dedicated educators, paraprofessionals, and staff," said Sheriff Cabral. "I truly admire the learning environment that Principal Salesman–Oliver has created here and am glad that I was invited back to shadow her again this year."

According to Principal Salesman–Oliver and one very prominent Boston Public Schools official, the feeling is mutual.

“Sheriff Cabral has been a good friend to this school and we are all happy that she is back as 'Principal,'" said Principal Salesman–Oliver. “We are always happy to have Sheriff Cabral come join us as principal for the day. She represents everything that is best about Boston and we appreciate the long–term support that she has given to our school.”

“Having Boston’s business, civic and political leaders come to our school for the 'Principal For A Day' program is always a delight,” said Dr. Carol R. Johnson, Superintendent of the Boston Public Schools. “Sheriff Cabral’s commitment to the student’s of Boston is evident 365 days a year, but getting to walk in the shoes of a principal is a unique experience that is not an easy undertaking. On behalf of all of Boston’s principals and teachers I extend great appreciation to Sheriff Cabral for her continued good work for Boston’s students.”

The annual Principal For A Day program is co–sponsored with the Boston Plan for Excellence in the Public Schools and the Boston Public Schools, and is underwritten by Bank of America. Since the inception of the event in 2003, more than 275 city leaders have been a Principal For A Day. Other notable supporters taking part in the program this year along with Sheriff Cabral included Myra Kraft, President, New England Patriots Charitable Foundation; Marie St. Fleur, Massachusetts State Representative; John Connolly, Boston City Councilor; Amy Ryan, President, Boston Public Library; and Meg Vaillancourt, Executive Director, Red Sox Foundation and Senior V.P. Boston Red Sox.

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