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BROCKTON

Thomas to become Brockton’s interim schools chief

Deputy Superintendent Michael P. Thomas will take over as head of Brockton’s public school district on an interim basis starting July 1, when current Superintendent Kathleen Smith retires.

The School Committee said it wanted Thomas in the post to maintain continuity through the budget process and election season and then would revisit the superintendent position in a year.

In a statement, Smith said she was pleased with Thomas’s appointment. “I have great confidence in his leadership and offer my complete support as he prepares for this new role,” she said.

“I am humbled by this incredible opportunity,” Thomas said. “I am honored by the appointment and I will work tirelessly to ensure that our schools are thriving, and our students are successful.”

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Thomas, a native of Brockton and 1987 graduate of Brockton High School, has worked for the district for 26 years.

He started as a physical education teacher in 1993 at what was then East Junior High School, and moved to Brockton High School in 2001 as head of the physical education program. He later became assistant dean and then dean at the high school, and in 2010, was promoted to executive director of operations for the district.

Thomas added the role of interim principal of Brockton High School for six months, before becoming deputy superintendent in 2013.

Former Brockton High School Principal Susan Szachowicz said the appointment is great news for students, families, and the community.

“Mike Thomas will put kids first in everything he does,” said Szachowicz, who retired in 2012. “I could rely on him like I could a member of my own family. I am so proud of him. He has worked hard, and he deserves this.”

Brockton is the fourth-largest urban school district in Massachusetts with 17,000 students in prekindergarten through Grade 12.

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Johanna Seltz can be reached at seltzjohanna@gmail.com.