Somerville High School Names John Oteri as Headmaster

Oteri is currently assistant principal at the high school.

Somerville Public Schools announced two important new hires Wednesday morning. John Oteri, assistant principal at , will succeed as headmaster of the high school. Also, Somerville Public Schools named Jill S. Geiser as principal of the . Geiser comes to Somerville from the James F. Leonard Middle School in Lawrence.

Below is the announcement from Somerville Public Schools regarding Oteri's appointment of headmaster:



Somerville High School Housemaster/Assistant Principal to Continue Serving Somerville Youth 

in Top High School Leadership Role 

Somerville, MA – Somerville High School (SHS) will have a new but familiar face in the top leadership role at the school when the 2012-2013 academic year begins.  Schools Superintendent Tony Pierantozzi announced last night that current Assistant Principal and Elm House Housemaster, John J. Oteri, has been named the school’s new Headmaster. He brings 13 years of educational commitment to Somerville young adults to his new position, along with nearly a decade of social work experience in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  Mr. Oteri has served as Housemaster/Assistant Principal at Somerville High since 2007.  

“John has been an incredibly valuable member of the Somerville High School instructional team for 13 years.  During that time, he has positively impacted hundreds of Somerville youth as a mentor, teacher, and instructional leader,” stated Superintendent Pierantozzi.  “His organizational and communication skills, his background in social work, and his thorough understanding of Somerville High School are great assets that John brings to his new role at the school.  His strong work ethic and his commitment to a culture of educational excellence are characteristics that will ensure that Somerville High continues to be on the cutting-edge of high school education.”

In his current role as Housemaster/Assistant Principal at Somerville High School, Mr. Oteri assists in all aspects of instructional leadership, administration, discipline and successful coordination of a fully comprehensive high school with a diverse student population of more than 1,300.  He works directly with at-risk students and with the SHS award-winning Mediation Program to support improved student relations and create a culture of cooperation and support.  Mr. Oteri succeeds Tony Ciccariello, who is stepping down as Headmaster after six years in that position due to health reasons.

“I am excited, honored and humbled to be the next Headmaster at Somerville High School,” stated Mr. Oteri.  “I plan to provide transformational leadership to the High School, working with an outstanding team of educators and building upon much of the great work that is already taking place at SHS.  I look forward to working collaboratively with the District, City and community partners and families to provide the best education we can to all students of Somerville High School.”

From 1999 to 2007, Mr. Oteri was a member of the SHS Social Studies Department teaching staff, quickly establishing himself as a leader in the School.  He served as the Student Council advisor from 2000 to 2007.  He also was a student teacher supervisor, and served as District-wide Mentor Coordinator for approximately 100 District staff.  Prior to joining the Somerville High School staff, Mr. Oteri spent nine years at the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (now the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families), in a number of positions.  During his time there he provided caseworker services in a child-protective unit, supervised the agency’s “Train the Trainer” program, and managed a $2.6 million budget for residential services and service contracts to the Harbor Area Office.

Mr. Oteri is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts as a double major in Government and International Relations, and the Arts and Letters Program for Administrators.  He earned his Master of Education from the University of Lowell, with a concentration in Curriculum and Instruction.  Along with his Massachusetts Teaching Certification, Mr. Oteri also holds state Certifications in:  Principal/Assistant Principal, preK-6, 5-8 and 9-12; Supervisor/Director all levels; Social Studies 5-8, 9-12; and Business 5-8, 9-12.

“John Oteri will bring strong, steady leadership to Somerville High School and is ready to lead our staff and students,” added School Committee Chairman, Paul Bockelman.  “He will build on the current strengths of the high school and bring a new focus to areas where we can improve.  I am especially pleased by his attention to marked growth for every student and continued cultivation of a culture of respect.”

The Somerville Public Schools follows a standard and inclusive recruitment and hiring process for senior school administrators to ensure broad community input.  The process begins with focus group meetings with parents/guardians, faculty members, and members of the school’s community, that provide input in the development of a candidate profile.  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 and District’s needs.  A slate of final candidates is forwarded to the Superintendent of Schools, who makes the final hiring decision based on the Interview Panel’s recommendations and a comprehensive interview process.

For more information about the appointment of John Oteri as Headmaster of the Somerville High School, please contact Tony Pierantozzi, Superintendent of Schools,  HYPERLINK "mailto:tpierantozzi@k12.somerville.ma.us" tpierantozzi@k12.somerville.ma.us or 617-625-6600 x6005


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