METCO Staff

METCO Program Director
Dr. Joanne Allen-Willoughby became the Director of the Needham Public Schools METCO Program in 2009. As a graduate of Needham Public Schools, Dr. Allen-Willoughby brings over twenty years of experience and commitment to the education and social/emotional well being of students in grades K-12. Through her past work as Director of the Victory Generation After School Program, and founding Partner of the WAVE Institute, she continues to dedicate herself to creating culturally proficient environments, which prepare students for a global society.
617-640-4640 (cell)

METCO Coordinator for Elementary Schools
Ms. Tamara Peeples is the Coordinator of the METCO program for the elementary schools. She is known for her enthusiasm and for her commitment to the METCO mission. In 2010, she spearheaded the ACES Club (Achievement Celebration for Excellent Students) to acknowledge the academic achievement of our elementary METCO students. She plays a pivotal roll in delivering the successful Jumpstart orientation for kindergarten and first grade METCO students and their families. She supports the METCO Family Friends committee with events held on early release days that build friendships between students who live in Needham and Boston.
617-640-8890

METCO Coordinator for Middle Schools
Ms. Leslie Smart is the Coordinator of the METCO program for middle school students. She is dedicated to their developmental needs. In 2012, she spearheaded Common Ground at High Rock to provide students of color with encouragement to achieve their highest potential. She assists in hosting the parent orientation to Middle School. She supports SWAG (Students Working and Growing) at Pollard, including Math and English Language Arts enrichment within a framework that provides our students, particularly students of color, with help in achieving their educational potential. Ms. Smart also works as a team with cluster teachers, student support staff and middle school administrators to ensure and monitor the academic and social/emotional development of the METCO students.
781-455-0455 (High Rock School) and 781-455--0480 (Pollard Middle School)

METCO Coordinator for Needham High School
Mr. Shakur Abdal-Khallaq is the Coordinator of the High School METCO program. He meets regularly with teachers and guidance counselors to promote the academic and social progress of METCO students in grades 9-12. He helped develop and co-teaches African American Studies and Contemporary Issues. He advises and supervises The SEAL (Social Empowerment, Active Listeners), a club for students who see a need to create social change and work toward a more culturally proficient district. He maintains collaborative relationships with faculty, staff, parents and community advocates.
781-455-0800

In addition, our students are supported throughout the school year by METCO Teaching Assistants Delmira Texeira and Marie Nunes, as well as bus monitors and tutors.

METCO Teaching Assistant
Mrs. Marie Nunes is the METCO staff support member at both the Mitchell and Hillside Elementary Schools. She is committed to supporting the Boston students academically in the classroom and socially through weekly lunch groups. She works closely with teachers and counselors in order to find ways to support the students’ needs, and implements strategies that will assist them in being successful. Mrs. Nunes is an advocate for the students. She communicates with Boston parents on a regular basis regarding their children. She also coordinates with the METCO Family Friends members in order to plan early-release activities. Her day does not end when the school bell rings, but rather continues as she attends after school and weekend activities that the students are involved in.
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