Interim Superintendent Jon Thompson

Jon Thompson has a deep love and passion regarding his work in the Fitchburg Public School system.

Thompson has been with the district for 13 years, and has held several positions, including assistant principal and principal at South Street Elementary School, as well as assistant superintendent.

When former Superintendent Robert Jokela announced his resignation, effective July 7, the Fitchburg School Committee held a special meeting and unanimously voted in Thompson to become the Interim Superintendent.

“Many thanks to the Fitchburg School Committee for the unanimous support and providing me the opportunity to serve as Interim Superintendent,” Thompson said. “What an incredible honor and responsibility to continue in the Fitchburg Public Schools. After thirteen years, I can think of no greater honor than to lead the Fitchburg Public Schools and serve the people of Fitchburg.” 

Superintendent Thompson’s entry plan will reflect his core values and beliefs about education.

One of those core values is, "All Means All. Every Student. Every Day. No Exceptions."

“Our decisions and plans should always have the best interest of students in every decision we make,” Thompson said. “We must provide equal access to quality education for all students, regardless of their background, abilities, or socioeconomic status.”

Thompson firmly believes in collaboration and shared responsibility.

“Education is not easy work and needs to be together as a team,” he said. “Success in education is a collective effort involving teachers, staff, students, parents and the wider community.”

Make no mistake, relationships matter, says Thompson.

“Relationships are one of the most important aspects of leadership and are essential for supporting student success,” added Thompson.

Thompson says that respect is another core value he truly believes in, and one that is required to move the district forward. 

“Respect, in terms of how students are treated by educators and how they are expected to treat others,” he said.

Thompson earned his Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with a concentration in Earth Science and Geography from Framingham State University, and also continued his Master of Education in Literacy and Language, from Framingham State. He received his administrative credentials from Merrimack Leadership Academy, in conjunction with Fitchburg State University, and completed the National Institute of School Leadership program. 

Thompson started his 23-year career in education as a paraprofessional, leading to a  classroom teacher in multiple grade levels. He began leadership roles as a mentor coordinator, and  literacy coach. These experiences transitioned into an assistant principal role, then evolved into the principal role. As the assistant superintendent, Thompson was left one more position to fulfill.  

“Being a part of Fitchburg Public Schools and working my way up to superintendent has given me a unique perspective with many stakeholders,” Thompson said. “The relationships that have developed between the community, staff, students and families is the foundation of the success within our schools.”  

Thompson spoke about his dedication to those families.

“Given the experience and talent of the teachers and support staff, I look forward to collaborating and sharing the responsibility of offering our students all that seems impossible,” he said. “This is an opportunity to connect with individuals within our community and make a greater impact in the world.”

Betsy Masciarelli, a fourth-grade inclusion teacher at McKay Elementary School, recalls when Thompson started as an assistant principal at South Street in 2010.

“We all loved him instantly,”  said Masciarelli, who used to teach at South Street. “He was a teacher first, and always put himself in our shoes. You could find Jon analyzing student data, visiting classrooms, or tossing a football around at recess with the students. Fitchburg is so fortunate to have him lead our schools. He believes in all of us.”

Former South Street teacher and current McKay Elementary School teacher Kayleigh Pennell noted that Thompson always put the kids first, and building a relationship with each and every one of them was his first priority.  

“He made sure his staff always had what they needed to be successful and it was important to him to have a positive school culture,” Pennell said. “He made everyone feel welcome and always knew what to do to improve our school.”

Since 2019, Mr. Thompson had provided leadership in improving student outcomes, which moved three schools out from under DESE’s accountability review process.

“Mr. Thompson has an impressively comprehensive resume,” said Fitchburg Mayor Stephen DiNatale. “He has been involved in every aspect of the educational process, and will bring that knowledge to ensure successful outcomes for Fitchburg students.”

Thompson has had the privilege to lead and learn alongside district, school, classroom and community partners on many aspects of instruction across Fitchburg.

Some of Thompson’s accomplishments include: transitioning the district to remote learning during COVID-19, implementing all K-12 curriculum initiatives, championing the creation and transition to an on-line PD and Evaluation System, and developing and implementing systems to utilize SOA funds to directly impact student growth and achievement. 

Thompson also is proud of implementing a new mentoring program for new and first-year teachers, leading district-wide PD to support new curriculum and initiatives, managing all state and federal grants – such as Title I, II and IV – collaborating with Mount Wachusett Community College Changemakers and United Way Youth Venture, and supporting district initiatives to further DBIE through PD for staff and participation in administrative training on the topic.

“What stands out most to me about Jon Thompson as a person is his intelligence, work ethic and attention to detail,” said Eva Kelly, the district’s Director of ESL and Family Engagement. “As a co-worker, I know I can count on him for support and guidance. As a leader, Jon has brought many things to the district, but what stands out the most is his laser focus on developing structures, systems, and supports that will ensure that all students can grow and succeed.” 

Thompson said the vision for Fitchburg Public Schools is clear, and he intends to keep moving it in a positive direction.

Thompson was officially appointed to Superintendent during the School Committee meeting on November 21, 2023.


FINAL Supt. Jon Thompson's Entry Plan
SPA FINAL Supt. Jon Thompson's Entry Plan
POR FINAL Supt. Jon Thompson's Entry Plan


Dear Fitchburg Public Schools Community, 

Welcome back! As we prepare to start a new school year, I am filled with enthusiasm and anticipation. I hope your summer was filled with fun, relaxation and a chance to recharge. As your Interim Superintendent, I am eager to continue to implement our district’s promise:

If all staff, families, and community partners collaboratively identify and remove barriers to personal growth and achievement, then every student will be ready to learn and access high quality core instruction and social emotional support. 

As part of my transition and entry plan, I will conduct a Listening and Learning tour across the community to learn more about the Fitchburg Public Schools. My goal in undertaking the process is to learn more about the District and community, to gain a deeper understanding of the current conditions of the system and to identify areas for further development and growth. I see this entry plan as an opportunity not only to learn more about our school system through a new lens, but also to have our faculty, staff and community get to know me in a different capacity. 

What to Expect This Year: As we get ready to launch the 2023-2024 school year, equity and inclusivity remain the bedrock upon which all of our educational endeavors are built, ensuring that every learner has the opportunity to thrive and contribute in a welcoming learning environment. Below are the three main commitments that the district will deliver this year: 

Helpful Links:

Stay Connected: I encourage everyone to stay connected with us throughout the year. Please ensure your contact details are up to date. Remember, you can follow us on Facebook @FitchburgPublicSchools, X (Twitter) @FitchburgPS, and on Instagram @fitchburgpublicschools for the latest updates and achievements. 

Superintendent Office Hours: As a way to increase communication, I will be offering superintendent office hours twice a month for parents, community members, and employees. Please schedule with Mary-Alexandra at 

Every new beginning offers opportunities for growth, learning and collaboration. Together, as a united community, we will ensure that every student in our district thrives and reaches their utmost potential. 

Thank you for your continued support and trust. Here’s to a year full of promise, accomplishments, and memorable moments!