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Mayor Menino appoints Boston University dean Hardin Coleman to Boston School Committee

Hardin Coleman, the dean of Boston University’s School of Education, has been appointed to the Boston School Committee, Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced today.

Coleman will take over the seat once held by John Barros, who stepped down in April to run for mayor. Coleman’s stay on the committee could be brief. The term is set to expire on Jan. 6, and if he wants to continue on the committee, he would have to seek reappointment.

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“Dean Coleman brings a unique blend of expertise and experience to the Boston School Committee — his leadership at one of our city’s finest higher education institutions; his extensive work with educators, counselors, and other partners; and a distinct perspective of Boston’s schools and families through his recent work to improve our system’s school choice process,” Menino said in a statement. “I am honored to appoint an individual with such exceptional outstanding credentials, skills, and experience.”

Coleman joins the committee at a critical time. The seven-member board is about to begin a search for a new superintendent to replace Carol R. Johnson, who will be retiring this summer.

This is the third time in less than two years that Menino has tapped Coleman to serve in a key educational leadership position.

Last year, Menino appointed Coleman as co-chairman of the External Advisory Committee, which vetted proposals to overhaul the way the School Department assigns students to schools. The advisory committee ultimately recommended an assignment system that will allow more students to attend schools closer to their homes, while still providing families a slate of schools from which to choose. The School Committee adopted the recommendation in March and the new system is expected to be implemented for fall 2014.

Then earlier this year, Menino installed Coleman as co-chairman of the Quality Schools Working Group, which is charged with bolstering the quality of education in schools across the city.

James Vaznis can be reached at jvaznis@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globevaznis.
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