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Perkins president Rothstein to step down after 11-year tenure

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  July 30, 2013 12:55 PM

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Photo from perkins.org
Steven M. Rothstein, president of Perkins School
After heading up Perkins School for the Blind for 11 years, Steven M. Rothstein announced today that he will step down next year as the school's ninth president.

The decision comes as Rothstein hopes to pursue the next phase of his career, although he did not specify his next professional endeavor in a letter he wrote posted on the school's website.

Rothstein said he will stay on as president through Dec. 31, and might even end out the academic year, as the school's Board of Trustees begin a national search for a new president.

“I look forward to continuing to serve as president during this transition period, and I am very confident that our next leader will successfully build on the tremendous accomplishments achieved by the entire Perkins community," Rothstein said.

During his tenure as president, Rothstein has expanded Perkins' services globally and online, increasing the school's reach from 40,000 to more than 700,000 people, said Frederic M. Clifford, chair of the trustee board, in a statement.

“The resulting transformation and advancement of our efforts allows Perkins to provide tremendous benefits to people with visual impairments throughout the world," Clifford said.

In addition to raising awareness and advocating for Perkins and students who are deaf and blind, Rothstein has also helped lead the Watertown campus' renovation and expansion efforts; ramped up the school's technology efforts; and helped raise $130 million in a capital campaign that has already had a dramatic effect on the school, according to Perkins officials.

"Steven Rothstein’s tenure at Perkins will always be seen as a definitive period in the organization’s important history, including his stewardship of the nation’s first school of its kind,” Clifford said.

A Williams College graduate who also holds an MBA from Northeastern University, Rothstein previously served as assistant commissioner of the state's Department of Mental Retardation, and has sat on the state's Board of Education. He also helped co-found Citizens Energy Corporation, a nonprofit that provides tens of millions of dollars in energy and medical benefits to low-income citizens, both in the US and abroad.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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