New student services director Debra Bromfield aims to make education accessible for all students

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In preparing for the school year, Debra Bromfield was aware of what her new position as director of student services for the Canton Public Schools would entail, having previously served as the director of special education for the Masconomet Regional School District.

Debra Bromfield

Debra Bromfield

So, since Bromfield’s arrival on August 2, much of her preparation has focused on familiarizing herself with the ins and outs of the school system itself, like starting to learn the names of her co-workers, surveying the programs that are offered within the schools, and becoming acclimated to the community at large. So far, she is more than pleased with what she has seen.

“I am very impressed with the level of commitment and dedication of the staff,” Bromfield said. “Their willingness to help introduce me to the community and support the work I’m doing [has been appreciated].”

As for the district itself, Bromfield sees a pattern of “strong commitment” in striving for continued improvement. She said she wants to “continue the excellence” that is already in place.

As director of student services, Bromfield primarily oversees the department of special education, as well as students with other types of specialized instruction, like those with a physical disability or a learning disorder. She works with the district’s principals and guidance counselors to make sure that the students’ needs are being met.

Bromfield’s goal is simple: she wants to “make the wonderful education that’s available in the Canton Public Schools more and more accessible to all learners.”

“It’s extremely important that we meet the needs of all learners as their needs arise and try to ensure that they can access their education,” she said. “The sooner we can get to them and help them and ensure that they can access their education, obviously will better the job that we’re doing.”

Bromfield, in effect, replaces Alan Dewey, who retired as assistant superintendent for student services this summer.  The retirements of Dewey, along with Superintendent John D’Auria and Robin Billing, Canton’s director of curriculum, instruction and technology, led to a reshuffling of some key central administration positions.

In addition to Bromfield, new Superintendent Jeff Granatino, former JFK principal Jen Henderson (now interim director of curriculum and instruction) and former technology integration specialist Colleen McCarthy (now interim director of technology) help to form a new core of leadership within the school system.

“Though [some of us] are dealing with a change of community, it’s not as if we’re unable to understand what we need to do for our jobs,” Bromfield said. “We’re just maybe adjusting to Canton as a new place to work. It’s very nice to be surrounded by such talented and experienced and competent people. So the fact that we’re in a new place together, it doesn’t feel like we’re with people who don’t know how to do the job.

“I think we need to keep looking forward and keep on adding to what we do,” she continued. “It’s not a static job.”

Prior to her arrival in Canton, Bromfield had been with the Masconomet Regional school system since 1985. A former special education teacher, she climbed the ranks, becoming assistant director of special education before eventually being named director.

“It was tough to leave the district after so many years there,” she said. “It was a wonderful place to work and I got very lucky to find another really exceptional place to [work].”

Bromfield sees education as a collaborative process and welcomes input from parents in the district. She hopes to form a partnership with the families and the teachers.

“It’s a very, very rewarding job,” Bromfield said, “and it’s one that I enjoy tremendously.”

Director of Student Services Debra Bromfield can be reached at bromfieldd@cantonma.org.

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avatar Posted by on Sep 16 2010. Filed under News, Schools.
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