NEW BEDFORD — New Bedford Superintendent of Schools Dr. Pia Durkin is a recipient of the Bobbie D’Alessandro Leadership Award, which was presented at the 13th Annual Women’s Educational Leadership Network Conference of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (M.A.S.S.). The award ceremony took place at the Hogan Conference Center at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester on Monday, March 19.

Named for former Cambridge Superintendent Bobbie D’Alessandro, the annual award is “given to an outstanding woman leader who is a role model for thoughtful and caring leadership with a laser focus on improved student achievement.”

Presenting the award, Dr. D’Alessandro commended Dr. Durkin for her “thoughtful, strategic and courageous leadership of turnaround work in an urban setting.”

In accepting the award, Pia Durkin noted, “I am surprised and humbled by this thoughtful gesture because the work cited and the accomplishments mentioned were made possible by a team, which I am fortunate enough to lead; they know how turnaround work is supposed to progress, and in five years of solid effort, together we have been able to make a very demonstrable difference by focusing always on our students.”

Dr. Tom Scott, M.A.S.S. Executive Director, remarked “As a friend and colleague, I have never known Pia Durkin to shy away from even the most formidable of challenges--especially when kids’ well-being and their futures are at stake. She exemplifies what it is to be a courageous and highly effective leader on behalf of all her children.”

--New Bedford Public Schools