During his 2 1/2 years as then-schools superintendent Clifford Janey's chief business operations officer, Thomas M. Brady made no secret of the fact that he wanted to be the man in charge. Brady, who had trained to become a superintendent at the Broad Foundation in Los Angeles, interviewed for several open school chief positions around the country.
Now after spending nearly a year as interim superintendent in Philadelphia, Brady has accepted a position as superintendent in Providence, R.I.
"It's feeling good -- I feel it's a great, great opportunity," Brady, 57, said.
In D.C., Brady introduced a new procurement system and shepherded the first round of school closings and a capital program to address dilapidated buildings. "Like any urban K-12 system, [in Providence] you've got achievement gap, funding, special education and operating issues that all need to improve," he said. "We had all those issues in D.C."
With 25,000 students, the Providence district is about half the size of D.C's school system and one-sixth the size of Philadelphia's. Brady, who starts in July, will earn $244,500 a year, Providence officials said.
"Tom Brady has been recognized as a national leader in urban school education with extraordinary leadership skills and a keen understanding of what it takes for students and teachers to succeed," Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline, who advocated for Brady, said in a statement. "His appointment as our next superintendent provides an important measure of stability for the students, parents, teachers and administrators in our district."
While he does not keep in touch with Janey, Brady said he has a close relationship with Arlene Ackerman, who served as D.C. superintendent from 1998-2000. Ackerman, whom he met at the Broad Foundation, was recently appointed Philadelphia's schools chief and will succeed him.
"We've traded a lot of war stories" about D.C., Brady said.