NEW BEDFORD – Mayor Jon Mitchell has announced the appointment of Kimberli Bettencourt to the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School committee.

If approved by the city council’s nominations and briefings committee, Bettencourt will replace Joshua Amaral, who resigned in August 2020 from the Voc-Tech school committee, also replacing Mitchell’s first candidate, Joaquim “Jack” Livramento, which was rejected by the committee earlier this.

“Ms. Bettencourt is a long-time respected educator who served on committees for citizens with disabilities for fifteen years, and she would bring experience and passion to that position on the committee,” Mitchell wrote in her letter of appointment.

Bettencourt course and qualifications

Bettencourt is heavily involved in the Greater New Bedford educational community, currently serving as Director of Student Services for Acushnet Public Schools with previous experience as Executive Director of Special Education and Student Services for Schools public in New Bedford. In the past, she served as an elementary special education supervisor and special education facilitator for SNB. She served as the day school principal at the Schwartz Center for Children in Dartmouth for 20 years.

Bettencourt holds certifications from the Department of Primary and Secondary Education in Intensive Special Education for all levels, Special Education Administrator for all levels, Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent for all levels, and a Protected English Immersion Approval. .

She served as chair of the Commission for Citizens with Disabilities for the City of New Bedford and the Grandparents Advisory Council for Coastal Seniors for a decade and currently serves on both committees. She is a member of the Voc-Tech Advisory Board and the Opioid Prevention Working Group. In the past, Bettencourt served as a special education consultant for New Bedford Community Partnerships for Children and a New Bedford Community Instructor through Wheelock College, one of her three alma maters.

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Bettencourt received a Bachelor of Education from Westfield State College in 1988 with a major in Special Education and a minor in Psychology. From there, she attended Wheelock College for a certification in child care administration and completed the program in 1995 with a cumulative grade point average of 4.0. She received her Master of Science in Education from Boston College in 2003 with a concentration in Special Education, maintaining her GPA of 4.0.

Amaral resigned from the Voc-Tech school committee in August 2020 due to time constraints in his position as deputy general manager at People Acting in Community Endeavors and his position on the SNB school committee. Historically, New Bedford has sent an elected school committee member to Voc-Tech’s board of directors for dual membership. Mitchell had hoped for the same with the appointment of Livramento in September, but the decision was officially rejected on March 25 after sitting on committee for several months.

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Voc-Tech’s elected school committee has eight members from the three towns it represents: four from New Bedford, two from Dartmouth and two from Fairhaven. Currently, Rita M. Ribeiro, Frederick J. Toomey and attorney Patrick Walsh represent New Bedford. Michael Shea and Dr Cynthia Marland represent Dartmouth, and Randall C. Durrigan and Wayne Oliveira represent Fairhaven.

City Council voted to send the agenda item back to the Nominations and Briefings Committee by going 11-0. If approved, Bettencourt’s term will expire in May 2023.

Standard-Times Editor Kerri Tallman can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter at @ktallman_SCT for links to recent articles.

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