One of the many leadership changes Malden welcome this year was a new STEM director. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Unlike most director positions in Malden, the STEM director not only operates at Malden High, but also in the five K-8 schools across the city. The STEM director also evaluates teachers, run professional development days, makes decisions about the curriculum that is taught and what the school supplies for students.

Former Malden High math teacher Shereen Escovitz stepped up to the position of STEM Director after the departure of the previous STEM Director, Diane Perito. Escovitz was originally on the search committee for the new director, but she explains that “[the committee] only interviewed one person who [they] thought was not a good fit, so [she] stepped up and said ‘[she] can do it.’”Afterwards, Escovitz met with the superintendent and assistant superintendent, who interviewed her and gave her the position.

Escovitz explains that switching from being a teacher to a STEM director is “very different.” Since Escovitz has to go to all six schools in Malden, she is not just in one classroom so she doesn’t see students as much. She also said that “[she] spends a lot more time talking with teachers about teaching, and [she] considers that an upside, but [she] definitely misses the classroom environment since as a teacher, you are totally focused on your classroom and your students that you don’t necessarily get involved.”

For her goals as STEM Director, Escovitz wants to help the district get a renewed focus on science, technology, engineering and math in grades K-12. She believes, “it’s important to give [students] as much time as [they] are given for reading and writing.” She thinks this is particularly important for “younger students to get a good exposure to math. Because Escovitz’s background is in high school and that she knows so much about it, she hopes “explore the elementary world and make the curriculum as strong as it can be. “[She] wants their STEM programs to run as well as they can.”

Escovitz hopes that students all across Malden Public Schools get excited about STEM fields and that the enjoy them. She thinks it is great to see “[students] engaged in the work that [they] do in those classes.” Since STEM fields are very hands-on, students have the opportunity to do lots of creative projects that can lead to great careers.

STEM fields are growing in public schools and there are many careers available in programming, advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals and finances that relate back to STEM fields, Escovitz would “love to see an increased STEM presence in Malden Public Schools to prepare [students] for these kinds of careers.”

Escovitz is very excited hold the STEM Director position and is excited to do great work this year in Malden Public Schools.

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