Troubled Boston school gets new receiver: a former BPS superintendent

Michael Contompasis.
Michael Contompasis.(Suzanne Kreiter/Globe staff/File 2016)

A Boston elementary school that was placed in receivership and taken over by the state in 2013 has been appointed a new receiver: Michael Contompasis, a former Boston Public Schools superintendent.

Contompasis will “work closely” with the principal at Paul A. Dever Elementary School to run and oversee the Dorchester school, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education announced Thursday.

The Dever was placed under state control due to low performance, specifically lackluster test scores. The state appointed the Newton nonprofit Blueprint Schools Network to oversee the school, but during its three-year contract, the Dever continued to see high teacher and principal turnover as well as a drop in enrollment, a 2016 Globe review found.


Last February, Tommy Chang, the BPS superintendent at the time, was appointed as the new receiver for the school. Chang announced his resignation from his post in June.

Contompasis was the headmaster of Boston Latin School from 1976 to 1998 before serving as the chief operating officer of the school district. He was the superintendent from 2005 to 2007. In 2016, he returned to BLS as the interim headmaster.

“I anticipate that Mr. Contompasis will hold meetings with staff closer to the start of school and with families after school has started,” education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley wrote in a letter to stakeholders.

In a letter to school leaders and central office staff, BPS Interim Superintendent Laura Perille said Contompasis will “continue the important mission of improving this school.

“Michael has a long, proven track record of effective leadership in Boston and a strong commitment to ensuring that all students have access to high-quality instruction,” she wrote, later adding that “Michael and [Dever principal Todd Fishburn] have the full support of the school district as we all work together to ensure the educational success of all our students.”


J.D. Capelouto can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @jdcapelouto.