Wu Appoints Lima Barbosa To Finish Lopera’s Term on Boston School Committee

Special to the Gazette

Mayor Michelle Wu announced the appointment of Chantal Lima Barbosa to the Boston School Committee. Lima Barbosa will serve the remainder of the term ending on January 1, 2024 that was created by the resignation of Lorena Lopera. She is a Boston Public Schools (BPS) alum and will be the first Cabo Verdean woman to serve on the Boston School Committee. Cabo Verdean Creole is spoken by seven percent of BPS families at home and is the third most common home language for BPS families after English and Spanish. The Boston School Committee is the governing body of BPS.

“I’m delighted to announce the appointment of Chantal Lima-Barbosa to the Boston School Committee,” said Mayor Michelle Wu. “Chantal is a dedicated public servant whose education background, experience as a BPS alum from an immigrant family, and love for BPS communities will benefit all BPS families, educators, and staff.”

“I look forward to serving with Chantal,” said Boston School Committee Chairperson Jeri Robinson. “The Boston School Committee has a lot to accomplish as we work with the Boston Public Schools and the City of Boston to make BPS a better, more equitable place for our young people. Through her work, I know that Chantal will be an excellent colleague on this committee and an unwavering ally for Boston’s school communities.”

“Chantal is a BPS graduate, a dedicated public servant, and a tireless advocate for public education,” said Superintendent Mary Skipper. “Through her work both for the City of Boston and for nonprofits, Chantal has devoted her career to improving the lives of Boston’s young people. I could not be more excited to begin working with her and I would like to enthusiastically welcome her to the Boston School Committee.”

Chantal Naomi Lima Barbosa is a daughter of Cabo Verdean immigrants. She was born in Boston and raised in Praia, Cabo Verde. In 2010  Lima Barbosa returned to Boston, attending the Jeremiah E. Burke High School where she graduated as valedictorian in 2012. She went on to graduate with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science in 2016 and a Masters of Higher Education and Administration in 2018 from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Lima Barbosa began her career in public service in February 2020, when she was appointed by Mayor Walsh to serve as the liaison to the Dorchester and the Cabo Verdean communities in the Office of Neighborhood Services. She was a critical resource for residents learning to navigate City services throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. She also served as the liaison to the City Council in the Office of Intergovernmental Relations.

In June of 2023, she reconnected with her passion for education and started a new role at Duet, a higher education coaching non-profit. She currently serves as one of Duet’s directors of recruitment.

“I am honored to be serving as the newest member of the Boston School Committee. I still remember my first day at the Burke as if it was yesterday and I’m humbled to now be sitting at such a critical table amplifying the experiences and voices of so many students, advocates, and families just like mine. This is a huge responsibility that I do not take lightly,” said Chantal Lima Barbosa. “I am so excited to play a role in shaping the development and success of young people in the City of Boston.”

The School Committee is responsible for:

• Defining the vision, mission, and goals of the Boston Public Schools;

• Establishing and monitoring the annual operating budget;

• Hiring, managing, and evaluating the Superintendent; and

• Setting and reviewing district policies and practices to support student achievement.

The School Committee meets approximately twice per month during the school year to adopt, review and modify policies and practices that support teaching, learning and improved student achievement. With the exception of executive sessions, Committee meetings are open to the public, feature public comment periods and are broadcast on Boston City TV.

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