Molly McGraw Healy, of Crystal, Minn., has been selected to direct the University of St. Thomas authorizing efforts for charter schools, beginning Monday, Nov. 7.
A competitive field of candidates was thoroughly evaluated by a search committee, and four finalists were invited to the UST campus in a systematic search process headed by Dr. Chris Vye, associate dean for the College of Applied Professional Studies. McGraw Healy was the consensus choice of the committee, board members and administration who participated in the interviews.
McGraw Healy comes to St. Thomas after having served most recently as the charter school program coordinator at Volunteers of America. At VOA, she provided oversight for 17 charter schools. Prior to this assignment she was a classroom teacher, a consultant to the District of Columbia Charter School Board, as well as a research assistant for the Minnesota House of Representatives, where she specialized in analyzing and researching a variety of public policy issues, including charter schools.
McGraw Healy earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Education, with a concentration in French, at St. Olaf College. In 2010, she earned her Masters of Public Policy, with an emphasis on education and charter school policy, from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.
The University of St. Thomas has been the authorizer of two St. Paul charter schools, Academia Cesar Chavez Charter School and HOPE Community Academy since 2001. After achieving approved authorizer status by the Minnesota Department of Education in December 2010, UST added four charter schools beginning with the 2011-12 school year: Main Street School for Performing Arts in Hopkins, and Twin Cities Academy, Twin Cities Academy High School and Community of Peace Academy, all in St. Paul.
“Ms. McGraw Healy’s hire positions UST to continue as a positive force in shaping the educational change agenda in Minnesota in the future,” stated Dr. Bruce Kramer, dean of the College of Applied Professional Studies.
Dr. David Peterson, faculty member of the Department of Leadership, Policy and Administration, and charter school coordinator for UST since 2006, added, "Molly McGraw Healy's background and experience in charter school authorizing will help UST make a major impact in providing quality oversight and support for the schools we authorize."
McGraw Healy will visit each UST authorized school in the near future, and she will be introduced to the full UST Authorizing Accountability Board in November.