• The Dedham School Committee is made up of elected volunteers tasked with the oversight of Dedham's seven public schools.  The committee, which is made up of seven members who are elected to 3-year terms, meet twice monthly and are responsible for appointing leadership, reviewing and approving budgets, and setting school education goals and policies, as defined by State law and Town Charter Section 3-3

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Tracey White, Committee Chair

Tracey was elected to the Dedham School Committee in 2016, with the goal of creating a school district that empowers and enables students to reach their full potential and gives all students the skills they need to be successful, whether they seek higher education, military service or to join the workforce. Now in her second term, and this year serving as Chair, her long standing legacy of local volunteering and community service continues.   

Tracey is well versed in the inner workings of the school, not only having previously worked in the School Department, but also as the parent of two Dedham High School graduates and a daughter who just began her freshman year at DHS.  Her ability to bring long standing connections, conversations and the perspective of parents who has watched children grow through the district offers a valuable counterpoint for the committee.

Tracey’s legacy in Dedham, as part of a family that dates back many generations, is truly invested in the school district. She also brings a dedication to community connection, and she is a passionate advocate to ensuring that all community voices are heard, acknowledged and that the committee is providing the answers parents, teachers and community members are seeking.

In addition to serving as Chair, Tracey is also part of the Negotiations subcommittee.

CURRENT ELECTED TERM:  2019-2022

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Melissa Pearrow, Vice Chair

In both her personal and professional work, Melissa is a strong advocate of public education, and prioritizes efforts towards creating supportive, inclusive school climates that value relationships between adults, students and the community.   Melissa was first elected to the Dedham School Committee in 2017, and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the committee this year.   Her insights, as a professional who prepares future school psychologists to provide interventions for student with special needs, brings a valuable perspective to the group.  

Melissa’s focus when approaching committee work is on ensuring that all Dedham children have access to the best education possible in a safe, supportive learning environment.  Further, she looks to ensure that the committee is asking questions and making decisions that incorporate an understanding of how teachers, administrators and families communicate and respond, and what they may require, when facing challenging discussions or situations.

A resident of Dedham for the last 20 years, Melissa has also been an active member of the Dedham Education Foundation for the last 14 years, helping to provide grants that support enrichment learning activities throughout the district.  Her daughter is a recent DHS graduate and her son has just entered High School at Blue Hills.

When Melissa is not taking on additional efforts on behalf of the Policy subcommittee, she can be found enjoying her family and garden, walking her dog or finishing her latest knitting project.

CURRENT ELECTED TERM: 2020-2023

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Mayanne MacDonald Briggs

Mayanne is the longest standing current member of the Dedham School Committee, having first been elected in 2010.  Her extensive history and work across a variety of subcommittees and projects offers a wealth of information and context to the committee’s discussions and initiatives.  As both a self-proclaimed life-long learner, and a 25+year professional with a career in Special Education, Mayanne’s passion for creating strong learning programs and environments is distinctive.   Additionally, as a parent of a child who has been a Dedham student from ECEC through DHS, she recognizes the challenges inherent across all levels of our school system and applies this knowledge as the committee approaches its latest initiatives.

Mayanne has twice served as Chair of the School Committee and also played a key role in the hiring of current Superintendent Mike Welch, having been chair of the Superintendent Search Committee.    While she has worked extensively on behalf of past Budget, Policy, Negotiations and other subcommittees, she is most proud of the work accomplished as part of the School Building Rehabilitation Committee in the management of the new ECEC building.   This year, Mayanne will be continuing her work with the SBRC, as well as working with the Budget, Traffic Study and Communications subcommittees.

Should Mayanne find a moment to herself, despite all the committee and subcommittee meetings, you can find this life-long Dedham resident enjoying time with her family or a stolen moment with a good book.

CURRENT ELECTED TERM: 2019-2022

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Josh Donati

Josh brings his unique perspective as an experienced educator, trained school administrator and parent of a young Dedham student to the Dedham School Committee.   Acting on his belief that everyone finds their own way to give back, Josh leverages his involvement as a volunteer sports coach and participation on other committees and boards to help ensure that all members of the Dedham community feel represented in the schools.   

Josh’s passion for being involved in any work that reduces or erases the opportunity gap that persists in our country weighs heavily in his approach and thought-process.  His background as an educator and administrator allows him to bring a professional perspective as he looks to ensure our schools are focused on raising academic achievement, graduating students that are able to positively contribute to our society, and creating a safe and welcoming place for all our learners.

Josh currently serves on the Policy Subcommittee and the Communications Subcommittee, and he also represents the School Committee on the Master Plan Committee and serves as the liaison for the Anti-Racism Coalition Student Success Working Group.  He has been a School Committee member since 2017.   Josh and his family have been residents of Dedham for just over 6 years. 

CURRENT ELECTED TERM: 2020-2023

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Victor Hebert

Victor joined the school committee by appointment September 2020, and was elected in April 2021, after experiencing first-hand the impact and gratification that comes from public service.  Though he has always sought to be an active and engaged member of the community during his 6 years in Dedham, his experiences sitting in on teacher negotiations and participating as a parent representative in the planning for re-opening schools in 2020 amidst the COVID pandemic, really brought home the benefits of getting so actively involved.

Victor’s career as a graphic designer allows him to bring a consensus building approach to his work on the Committee.  Collaboration and being able to take in ideas, comments and criticisms and creating a cohesive approach to move forward are all critical skills in the complexities of supporting the ongoing efforts of a school district.

When Victor isn’t spending time with his wife and three children, who currently attend DMS and Avery Elementary, he is also representing the committee on the Budget subcommittee, the School Building Rehabilitation Committee and the Human Rights Commission.

CURRENT ELECTED TERM: 2021-2024

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Cailen McCormick

Cailen joined the Dedham School Committee in April of 2021, bringing 15 years of experience as a special educator to the group.  As an active educator who has taught courses to fellow teachers on promoting success and ensuring support for all students in a class room, Cailen’s efforts on the committee continue her focus to ensure that all students, regardless of background or ability, have access to rigorous instruction that leads to meaningful growth.

Cailen has been an active resident of Dedham, since moving to town 10 years ago.  In May 2020, along with four other Dedham moms, Cailen co-founded the Anti-Racism Coalition of Dedham, creating an active network dedicated to bringing the community together to ensure a collective movement forward when it comes to social justice and acceptance.  Cailen is the mom of three children, two currently in Dedham schools, and one who will be attending in a few years.  She and her family can often be found exploring the outdoors in their free time.

As a member of the Policy and Communication sub-committees, Cailen’s passion for education and dedication to creating equitable learning opportunities are well focused.  Her priorities are represented as she encourages the application and consideration of justice, equity, social emotional student health, and cultural diversity when considering policy and budget issues.

CURRENT ELECTED TERM:  2021-2024

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Chris Polito

As a lifelong Dedham resident and alumni of the Dedham Public School system, Chris prioritizes transparency and communications throughout the District.  His local history, professional knowledge and interest bring valuable insight to his work on the Negotiation, Budget and Traffic sub-committees.   

With a passion for family and friends, Chris has two young children coming into the Dedham school system.   A former Oakdale Elementary student who went on to graduate with the Class of 2002 from Dedham High, Chris is able to draw on past work with the Dedham Board of Assessors and his familiarity with both local and accounting processes to help inform policy and budget discussions.   

This is Chris’s first year on the School Committee, having been elected in 2021.   When not engaged in Town events or spending time with the people he cares about, Chris can be found pursuing his recreational dedication to the game of golf.

CURRENT ELECTED TERM: 2021-2024