Somerville High School Gets Two New Housemasters
Jane F. Cummings and Sebastian LaGambina, Somerville High School veterans, will be new assistant principals at the school.
Ed. note: The following is from Somerville Public Schools:
Cummings, LaGambina Hired as SHS Housemasters/Assistant Principals
Veteran Somerville High School Department Heads to Take on New Roles in 2012-2013
Somerville, MA – Incoming Somerville High School Headmaster John Oteri announced today that Jane F. Cummings and Sebastian LaGambina will join the Somerville High School leadership staff in new roles next year as SHS Housemasters/Assistant Principals. Cummings and LaGambina will be filling the positions vacated by Eve Shelton-Jones, who is retiring at the end of this school year, and Mr. Oteri, who succeeds Tony Ciccariello as the School’s Headmaster starting in July. Cummings and LaGambina are veteran department heads, each with four years of experience leading their respective departments. Ms. Cummings has served as the K-12 Foreign Language Department Head at the Somerville Public Schools since 2008. Mr. LaGambina has been the Somerville High School Science Department Chair since 2008.
“We had an outstanding slate of candidates apply for these positions, and are very pleased to welcome Ms. Cummings and Mr. LaGambina to the Somerville High School leadership team in their new roles next year,” stated Mr. Oteri. “Both Jane and Sibby have had exceptional success in their respective Department Head positions. They are innovative thinkers with an unwavering commitment to helping our youth develop and succeed. I’m excited to work with them in their new capacities and am confident that they will continue to build on the outstanding work we’re doing with our student body at Somerville High School.”
Ms. Cummings joined the Somerville Public Schools staff in 1986 and has served in a number of capacities, including as the Foreign Language Department Head for K-12 since 2008. She was a Spanish Teacher at SHS from 1986 to 2008 and has continued to teach two courses as part of her current role as Department Head. During her tenure as the lead Foreign Language administrator, she developed a Spanish I course for Heritage Speakers; introduced 7th and 8th grade Italian at the Healey School; and played a critical role in exposing students to foreign cultures and languages by accompanying students abroad to Spain, Italy and Portugal. Ms. Cummings also worked with the Mayor’s office on the SERAPO exchange program with Somerville’s sister city, Gaeta, Italy. Most recently, Ms. Cummings developed a 7th and 8th grade Spanish program scheduled to be implemented in six elementary schools in September 2012, and introduced Chinese (Mandarin) at the high school beginning September 2012. She served as Director of the Secondary School Summer Program, Grades 8-12 from 2006 to 2008, and was Principal of the Somerville Evening School from 2005 to 2007. She has also been the Administrator member of the SHS School Improvement Council. Ms. Cummings holds a Master of Education in Integrated Studies from Cambridge College, and a BA in Spanish with a concentration in Women’s Studies from UMass Boston. She holds Spanish (7-12), Principal/Vice Principal (9-12) and Supervisor Director (all levels) Massachusetts Certifications.
“I am very excited, honored and proud to be chosen as one of the newly appointed Housemaster/Assistant Principals of Somerville High School,” said Ms. Cummings. “I look forward to working alongside our new Headmaster John Oteri and the other Housemasters for the benefit of all students. Somerville High School is a fantastic place to teach and learn. My goal in this position is to ensure the success, growth and development of all SHS students.”
Mr. LaGambina has been a driving force in establishing the Somerville Science Department as a place of creativity and innovation. He joined the Somerville Public Schools in 1986, and took over as the SHS Science Department Chair in 2008. Under his leadership, the Science Department has garnered distinction for a number of programs and partnerships, among them the following:
- 2011 Massachusetts Biotechnology Education Foundation’s “Innovative School of the Year” Award;
- Mass Bio Ed – Life Science Career Development Grant (Received $13,000 LSCD Equipment Grant);
- Cambridge Community Foundation grants to promote science education, totaling $65,000 over 4 years;
- 2011-2012 Verizon “Thinkfinity Demonstration School” – one of only 6 schools in the nation to earn this award, which included $70,000 for teacher professional development and technology;
- Expansion of the Biotech Program and the creation of Engineering courses;
- Biogen IDEC – Science Fair Mentoring Program, Summer Programs for students;
- W. R. Grace – Science Fair Mentoring Program;
- MIT–UBIQ Bio Games - development/piloting of biology games played on hand-held devices;
Introduction of a Speaker of the Month Series at SHS, featuring Nobel Prize winners and local scientists;
A number of Tufts University partnerships, including the Chemistry Organized Outreach Program (COOP), Engineering Outreach (TOHSE), and the Interactive Learning Environment (InterLACE) for interactive physics instruction.
Mr. LaGambina has also served as a Research Scientist/Contractor for the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Systems Research Development and Engineering Center since 1990, and a Science Department Adjunct Faculty member at Bunker Hill Community College since 1994. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University, a Master of Education from Cambridge College, and a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in School Administration from American International College. Mr. LaGambina holds Massachusetts Certifications as: Principal/Assistant Principal (9-12), Supervisor–Science (9-12) and Chemistry (9-12).
“I am excited to serve as Housemaster/Assistant Principal at Somerville High School and am looking forward to working with Headmaster Oteri in developing and implementing new initiatives to ensure that we provide the students of Somerville High with the highest quality education possible,” stated Mr. LaGambina. “I am proud of the accomplishments of the Science Department and the recognition the department has received while I served as Science Department Chair, and I intend to bring that same level of success to the position of Housemaster/Assistant Principal. I am also a proud graduate of Somerville High School, Class of 1980, and am very optimistic about the future of Somerville High.”
“Our selection process is a rigorous one because we want to ensure that the best candidates possible are taking on these important leadership roles in our schools,” commented Somerville Public Schools Superintendent, Tony Pierantozzi. “I’m pleased to see Jane and Sibby continue to advance professionally by assuming two of the Housemaster positions. I am confident that they will both do an outstanding job in leading our students and staff at SHS, focusing on maximizing the potential of each student.”
"I am thrilled that these two talented educators are stepping into two important leadership positions at Somerville High School,” added School Committee Chairman, Paul Bockelman. “As new housemasters, Ms. Cummings and Mr. LaGambina will join a core leadership team that is seasoned, strong, and really knows the school. I look forward to seeing the results of their work to move Somerville High to the next level."
The Somerville Public Schools follows a standard and inclusive recruitment and hiring process for top school administrators to ensure broad community input. A separate and representative Screening Committee and an Interview Panel are established for each position to determine the pool of applicants who best match the School’s needs. A slate of final candidates was forwarded to the incoming Headmaster, who made the final hiring decision based on the Interview Panel’s recommendations and a comprehensive personal interview process.