Former Massachusetts Supt. James L. O’Brien joins as consultant for Vocational Technical Education
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND – The Perry Group, an award-winning public relations and crisis communications agency and The Capellan Group, an educational consulting firm today launched a joint venture to offer crisis communications strategies to K-12 school system leaders and districts nationwide.
This new crisis communications practice within The Perry Group couples the critical lived experience and institutional knowledge of Victor Capellan, a former Central Falls (RI) superintendent, New York City school principal and Rhode Island state education official, with Gregg Perry, a seasoned communicator who brings creative thinking, legal sensitivity and a unique perspective to clients who are facing reputation challenges. Together, Capellan and Perry have more than 65 years of combined experience in education and communications.
“More so than ever before, K-12 school systems, and the chief executives that lead them, face an unprecedented barrage of crisis – health pandemics, politically charged conflicts and unfathomable tragedies,” said Victor Capellan, CEO of The Capellan Group. “Yet, despite the prevalence of these crisis, principals and superintendents are not experts in crisis communications leaving them vulnerable when navigating these challenges. Our hope is to provide the tools these education leaders need to support their school culture and change that narrative.”
The Perry Group has demonstrated experience in providing crisis communications counsel to dozens of K-12 public, private, charter and parochial school districts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, higher education institutions and education accreditors nationwide.
“When navigating crises, the first several hours are critical. Having individuals who understand all the nuances and interactions happening during a crisis in a school setting because they have been in those leadership positions, are invaluable,” said Gregg Perry, President of The Perry Group. “Leveraging our extensive experience navigating myriad crisis situations for our corporate clients, we are able to provide education leaders the tools to develop a cohesive and transparent narrative to help them navigate reputation threats in a way that will build a thriving and caring school community.”
Joining Perry and Capellan as a consultant is former Greater New Bedford (MA) Regional Vocational Technical High School Superintendent/Director James L. O’Brien. O’Brien served as a classroom teacher, coach, adult education director and capped off his more than 40 years at GNBVT leading the school that he attended as a teenager. He brings the perspective of a career vocational technical educator and leader who ushered an academic turnaround of GNBVT through more intense and regular academic instruction as well as increased supports and professional development for faculty and staff. O’Brien also brings a unique perspective as a long-time school committee chairman in his hometown of Rochester, Massachusetts.
“The combined experiences of Victor and Jim brings the entire K-12 education spectrum to the table for every assignment we are asked to address,” said Perry. “We are able to provide hyper-contextualized solutions to the situations facing education leaders today based on the learned and lived experience of our team.”
Perry also announced Anaridis Rodriguez, an Emmy Award winning journalist who recently joined The Perry Group after spending the last five years reporting for WBZ-TV, the CBS owned station in Boston, will be a part of this new practice group. Rodriguez experience spans coverage of a range of issues, often focused on racial justice and community reporting.
About The Perry Group
The Perry Group is a public relations, public affairs and marketing agency that believes in the power of a well told story. We deliver clear, measurable, game-changing results. Whether an educational institution facing a crisis; a Fortune 1000 company working to communicate ESG strategies to increase recruitment and retention; a small non-profit seeking to leverage its work and increase funding opportunities, or a medium sized business looking to increase its customer base, we can help. Our team has worked with organizations of every size and shape helping them tell their story. Founded in 2009, The Perry Group is headquartered in Providence, RI and is a recipient of a Public Relations Society of America Silver Anvil Award for excellence in Public Relations. Learn more at perrypublicrelations.com
About The Capellan Group
The Capellan Group is an educational consulting firm dedicated to providing high-value and specialized solutions to the education ecosystem. The Capellan Group is led by Victor Capellan, an experienced leader in the education system with experience at the school, district, and state level. He recently concluded his services as Senior Advisor in the Rhode Island Department of Education. Victor is a former Superintendent of Schools in Central Falls, RI, and Assistant Superintendent in Fall River, Massachusetts. His educational experience also includes his experience as a high school principal in Brooklyn, New York. Victor is an adjunct professor at Providence College as a Clinical Supervisor for students enrolled in the Graduate Program for School Leadership. The Capellan Group aims to be game changers offering a new paradigm in educational solutions and applying bold new concepts with fresh and innovative ideas that replace old beliefs and failed practices.