Catholic Free Press

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  • Jul
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Bishop names new superintendent of schools, David Perda

Posted By July 6, 2017 | 6:00 am | Featured Article #1
David Perda, new superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Worcester.
David Perda, new superintendent of Catholic schools for the Diocese of Worcester.

David Perda, Ph.D., chief research and accountability officer for the Worcester Public Schools since 2010, has been appointed diocesan superintendent of schools by Bishop McManus.
He will begin his duties Aug. 7, with the retirement of Delma Josephson, who held that position since 2009.
Bishop McManus said he is delighted to be able to appoint Mr. Perda as superintendent of Catholic schools.
“He brings a wealth of experience to the position in order to address strategic goals which will promote more effectively the value of a Catholic education to our communities,”  the bishop said.
The bishop, who has served as the chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Catholic Education, said Catholic schools are very important in the life of the Diocese of Worcester. He said Catholic education is one of the vehicles that has strengthened the Catholic Church in the country for more than 150 years. With Mr. Perda’s direction, “our focus will be on strengthening our commitment to the formation of children and young people in Catholic schools in order to prepare them for their mission in life,” he said.
David Surprenant, chairman of the superintendent search committee for the diocese, said several candidates ultimately were interviewed by the committee. He said Mr. Perda was selected for “his ability to promote successful outcomes in education for the benefit of students and their schools.”
He said Mr. Perda has also demonstrated a strong commitment to Catholic values and is well aware of the unique advantages of a Catholic education in today’s society.
“He brings a high degree of energy and enthusiasm to the position,” Mr. Suprenant said.
As a member of the superintendent’s senior staff in the Worcester school system, Mr. Perda’s focus has been on building systems to enable data-driven decision-making within the district. Part of that responsibility included developing models for initiating and maintaining partnerships with various stakeholders, including community organizations, higher education institutions and other school districts.
Before joining the Worcester public school system, he was a research scientist with the Institute of Education Sciences, at the National Center for Education Evaluation in the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C. He also held research positions with the Consortium for Policy Research in Education in Philadelphia and the Massachusetts Department of Education in Malden. In the mid-1990s he provided research support in a project conducted by Providence College which examined trends in Catholic schools over a 30-year period.
Mr. Perda received his doctorate in educational policy from the University of Pennsylvania; a master’s degree in higher education from Boston College and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island. He has published extensively and presented frequently on how school systems can use data-driven approaches for goal-setting, strategic planning and program evaluation.
Residents of New Bedford, Mr. Perda and his wife and daughter are members of St. Anthony of Padua Parish.