Thursday, May 23, 2024

The founder and head of school of one of the most successful public charter schools in Massachusetts has announced her retirement.

Paula Evans will retire Saturday from the Community Charter School of Cambridge, which she founded in 2005. The Kendall Square school was named an Epic winner this year, chosen as one of 14 charter schools nationally for remarkable student academic growth and tied for first place in the state last year in 10th grade MCAS mathematics scores, with all students getting proficient or advanced standing. Also, 100 percent of the students in each of the school’s graduating classes have been admitted to college, this year more than 90% to a four-year college or university.

“The school is in a very strong place,” Evans said. “I think changing leadership provides an opportunity for maintaining the strengths and moving in new directions. And it’s time for me to change my focus as well.”

Caleb Hurst-Hiller will succeed Ms. Evans as Head of School in July.

Evans grew up in Boston, graduated from Chatham College and later earned a master’s degree from Harvard University. She has spent more than 40 years in education, teaching in Newton for 17 years, directing professional development of major national school reform projects at Brown University and serving as principal of Cambridge Rindge & Latin School. She called creating CCSC her signature achievement, and she fondly recalled opening the school’s doors for the first time, handing diplomas to the school’s first graduating class in 2009 and the many days over the years she’s sat in on classes.

“Seeing the students ask good questions and make thoughtful connections is one of the delights of teaching,” she said, “and getting excited with students about subject matter can be magical.”

“ I will definitely miss regular interactions with the students as well as with faculty and staff,” she said. “I love talking with faculty, watching them in the classroom, hearing about their plans. I so appreciate their sense of humor and their dedication.”

She planned to remain connected to CCSC in a meaningful and useful way, she said. “I will work on fundraising — hoping to raise an endowment for the school — and on expanding our facilities. I’m excited about both of these challenges. I’ll be at school, working some with faculty and staff. And I’ll check in on the students as well.”

Asked what advice she would give her successor, Evans said: “Stay the course. Maintain a clear vision for the school and make sure that every decision you make is tied back to that vision. And enjoy — this is a fabulous job.”

This is a contributed article written by a public relations professional.