New Director of Fine & Performing Arts

posted Apr 4, 2017, 2:57 PM by Nancy Berger   [ updated Apr 4, 2017, 3:30 PM ]

Dear NHS Friends of Music:

 I am pleased to announce that LeeAnn Sutton has accepted my offer to be the new K-12 Director of Fine & Performing Arts beginning July 1, 2017. LeeAnn is currently completing the School Leadership Program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she was named a James Bryant Conant Fellow for her academic and professional achievements.  Prior to her time at Harvard, LeeAnn has had diverse experiences as a Music Teacher including positions with the Cambridge Public Schools, The Longy School of Music of Bard College, The New England Conservatory Prep School and Ithaca City School District (NY).

As a Music Teacher, she has undertaken a wide range of leadership roles at the school, district, and community level that have prepared her to step into the Director’s position.  She is an experienced program and curriculum developer, has served as a teacher coach, organized and facilitated discussions and professional development activities, produced school and district events, and collaborated with community organizations to promote arts education. Currently she serves on the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Educators’ Advisory Council where she collaborates with other educators from across the state to create materials for BSO Youth Concerts and she maintains a long-standing relationship with the Boston Celtics that provides an opportunity for her Suzuki students to annually perform the national anthem at one of their games.

In May, LeeAnn will earn her Master of Education degree in Educational Leadership from Harvard University.  She also holds a Master of Arts in Music from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  Her undergraduate degree is in Music Education and Performance from Ithaca College (NY).  With her background and experience, LeeAnn brings a breadth of knowledge in teaching students of diverse backgrounds as well as in developing curriculum, promoting professional growth, developing and facilitating professional learning experiences for teachers, strategic planning, and collaborating with the community to enhance the learning opportunities for students.

Colleagues, supervisors, and professors described LeeAnn as a highly respected and a valuable member of their respective communities.  In addition to her knowledge and passion for arts education, LeeAnn is seen as having exceedingly strong communication, collaboration, and interpersonal skills.  She is compassionate, willing to seek help or advice, a collaborator who shares her knowledge with her peers, and someone who is able to foster a unified, safe and positive culture.  Throughout the interview process, she continually demonstrated thoughtfulness, intelligence, grace, and humor.

LeeAnn is enormously impressed with the Needham Public Schools and is looking forward to becoming part of the dynamic and student-centered communities at each of our schools.  She is excited to be able to join the teachers, students, and administrators who daily demonstrate a commitment to learning and personal growth.

 Let me take this opportunity to thank all the members of the interview team for their thoughtful work, which allowed us to identify strong candidates for this important district position: Director of Human Resources Tom Campbell, Director of Student Learning Terry Duggan, teachers Mark Smith, Shireen Yadollahpour, and Heather Tryon, Principals Gregory Bayse and Aaron Sicotte, Director of World Languages Elizabeth Zajac, and parent Alison Atallah.  I would also like to thank the many teachers, staff, and parents who provided incredibly helpful feedback in the process.

Please join me in welcoming LeeAnn Sutton to the Needham Public Schools in her new role as the K-12 Director of Fine & Performing Arts.



Superintendent of Schools