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Germain Appointed to Head Lynch Leadership Academy

“I firmly believe that the most important factor for ensuring student achievement is in strengthening the school leader,” says Thaly Germain, newly appointed director of the Lynch Leadership Academy. (Photo by Kara Delahunt)

By Ed Hayward | Chronicle Staff

Published: May 10, 2012

Thaly Germain, a former school principal who has been developing school leaders with the national non-profit New Leaders, has been named the director of the Lynch Leadership Academy, Lynch School of Education Interim Dean Maureen Kenny announced last week.

Germain, the executive director of Aligned Staff at New York-based New Leaders, will start next month as the director of the leadership academy, a one-year development program for early- and mid-career principals from Boston’s public, Catholic and charter schools.

Launched with a $20 million gift from Carolyn and Peter Lynch, the leadership academy is the first in the nation to bring together school leaders from the three competing sectors of K-12 education for a series of workshops and programs on leadership development, as well as opportunities for networking and collaboration. In addition to faculty from the Lynch School, Carroll School of Management professors assist with the academy program.

The inaugural group of academy fellows recently completed the program and a second cohort of fellows was welcomed at a dinner on campus.

“Thaly’s prior experiences as a teacher, school principal and as executive director of aligned staff at New Leaders give her unique insight into building programs that support school principals and will be assets in her role as director of the Lynch Leadership Academy,” Kenny said.

Germain said her range of experiences in education has made her a firm believer in the power of educational leaders to develop effective schools, empower teachers and inspire students.

“I firmly believe that the most important factor for ensuring student achievement is in strengthening the school leader,” said Germain, who has taught at public and charter schools and served as principal of the Maya Angelou Public Charter School in Washington, DC. “I am honored to lend my vision, passion, innovation and expertise in urban education and leadership to head this exciting new initiative.”

At New Leaders, Germain served as national director for charter school strategy and led a charter initiative, funded by NewSchools Venture Fund. Since 2009, she designed and implemented a national professional development program for staff at New Leaders.

Germain holds a Master of Teaching degree from Fordham University and a Master of Education from Trinity University. She has served as an adjunct professor at Boricua College in New York City.

Germain, who emigrated from Haiti and grew up in New York City, said her family, the schools she attended and the principals who led them played crucial roles in her success as a student and growth as a person.

“It’s really important for today’s students to understand that the path isn’t always easy,” said Germain. “I think everyone needs someone in their life who understands, who cares, who believes and motivates them to do the work – and that is the work of the leader and of every staff member at a school.”