Retired Principal Brian Ota Seeking Nomination to Marblehead School Committee
Former Glover School Principal Brian Ota has taken out papers seeking nomination to run for the Marblehead School Committee in the election to be held on June 20, 2023. Ota served as assistant principal at the Village School from 2011-2015 and principal of the then newly opened Glover School from 2015-2022.
Marblehead Beacon spoke with Ota about his background and desire to seek election to the School Committee. Ota earned a Master’s degree in education and began his career as a special education teacher at Worcester Vocational Technical High School. Shortly thereafter, with the passage of Proposition 2 ½ in Massachusetts, Ota was informed that he would need to take a pay cut and would not likely receive a raise in the near future. With a young family to support, he transitioned to the private sector and became a project manager for a multimillion-dollar Fortune 100 software development firm.
Years later, when he was financially more secure, Ota decided to return to his passion: education. He first served as a special education teacher for at-risk students but soon earned his administrator’s license and was hired as dean of students (similar to an assistant principal position) in the Dennis Yarmouth School District. Five years later, he applied for and won the assistant principal position at the Marblehead Village School, after which he went on to serve as the Glover School principal.
Ota highlighted many accomplishments achieved during his tenure at Glover, including: developing a District Curriculum Accommodations Plan to define best teaching practices, leading the committee tasked with replacing the outdated math curriculum, and serving as a member of the District Safety Committee tasked with rewriting safety protocols and introducing the ALICE system to Marblehead. He also procured several grants including one to develop an organic learning garden and another for teacher professional development training.
Ota’s philosophy, he says, was based on a commitment to “cultivate a schoolwide practice of inclusive decision making.” This included a focus on parent involvement and communication. He published weekly parent newsletters, communicated regularly through emails and voicemails, held “Coffee with the Principal,” and collaborated with the Parent Teacher Organization.
Ota notes that, as a School Committee candidate, one of his primary goals is “to continue building a collaborative working environment within the School Committee, School Administration, Select Board, and the Finance Committee to ensure our students receive the very best education.” He continues, “As a retired educator, I would welcome the opportunity to continue being involved in the field of education as a member of the Marblehead School Committee” and I would bring to the role “a unique and deep understanding of the needs of students, teachers, and parents.”