Mr. Lyons was the Superintendent/Director of the Shawsheen Valley Technical School District, located in Billerica, Massachusetts from 1987 until the fall of 2015. Appointed by a ten member elected School Committee, Mr. Lyons was responsible for a staff of approximately 200 employees providing critical vocational technical educational services for 1400 high school students. As Superintendent/Director he developed a decentralized fiscal management system, initiated a five-year capital budgeting system, and implemented an extensive technology improvement plan, including the construction of a life science wing completed in 2009.
Shawsheen Valley Technical High School is one of the finest CVTE High Schools in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It has an average student attendance rate of 97.1%, a four year on time graduation rate of 98.2%, an annual drop-out rate of less than 0.2%, and enjoys the highest percentage of co-operative placement opportunities in the private sector for high school students in the state. A rigorous challenging career centered curricula ensures 70% of Shawsheen graduates enter post-secondary studies, and most of the remainder enter the workforce as either creative craftsmen or talented technicians.
Mr. Lyons served as President of the Massachusetts Association of Vocational Administrators in 1996, and has served on the MAVA Board of Directors since 1988.
He was an active member of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents (MASS). He serves on the MASS Finance Task Force and its Legislative Committee. He was also one of two Superintendents representing MASS on the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA).
In 2005 Mr. Lyons completed 24 years of service on the Arlington Board of Selectmen, being first elected in 1981. He was elected Chairman of the Board of Selectmen by his colleagues five times.
During his tenure he also served as Chairman of the Town of Arlington’s Affordable Housing Task Force, and served as Chairman of the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s Task Force on Housing and Land Use.
Mr. Lyons was the first 18-year-old in the country elected to a town or city position when he was elected to the Arlington School Committee in March of 1972. He served on the Arlington School Committee through 1979, elected as Board Chairman in 1977.
Mr. Lyons was President of the Massachusetts Selectmen’s Association in 2000. He served on the Massachusetts Municipal Association Board of Directors from 1986-1990 and again from 1994 to 2005. He was a member of the Governor’s Local Government Advisory Council from 1994 to 2005.
In 1985, the chief elected officers from fifty-three eastern Massachusetts communities elected Mr. Lyons to the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) Board of Directors. This eleven-member board was established by the Massachusetts Legislature to clean up Boston Harbor and ensure safe drinking water to two and a half million citizens in Massachusetts. Re-elected to the MWRA Board of Directors in 1988 and 1994, he chaired the Personnel Committee, the MWRA Retirement Board, and served on its Finance Committee. In 1989, he was a key organizer initiating the national Combined Sewer Overflow Partnership, an organization of over 100 municipalities throughout the United States, established to effectively lobby both Congress and the federal Environmental Protection Agency on CSO-related issues. He served as Secretary to the CSO Partnership from 1989 to 1997.
Mr. Lyons was elected President of the National League of Cities in 2004, becoming the first Selectman in the USA to hold this post in the 80 year history of the NLC. During his tenure as NLC President, Lyons crisscrossed the country advocating on behalf of American cities and towns.
Mr. Lyons also served on the NLC Board of Directors and Advisory Council, was a member of the Infrastructure Task Force, and was a vice-chair of the Energy, Environment, and Natural Resources Policy Committee. He chaired the NLC Advisory Council in 1999 coordinating the Advisory Council’s year-long project resulting in the publication of the NLC’s most sought after document: “Undoing Racism: Fairness and Justice in America’s Cities and Towns”.
Mr. Lyons is a member of the corporation of the Arlington Boy’s and Girl’s Club, Mount Auburn Hospital, and the Cambridge Savings Bank.
He earned both his BS Degree in Political Science and his Master's Degree in Educational Administration from Boston State College.
He currently resides in Methuen, MA with his wife Leanne Lyons.
Awards include the following:
“Youth Leader of the Year" in 1972 from the Arlington Chamber of Commerce
“Citizen of the Year" in 1983 from the Arlington Chamber of Commerce
"Governor Francis E. Sargent Award” in 1985 from the Boston Harbor Associates
"Ten Outstanding Young Leaders Award" in 1988 from the Boston Jaycees.
“Community Service Award" in 1990 from the Arlington Chamber of Commerce
In 1996 admitted into Arlington Catholic High School’s “Hall of Fame”.
“Public Service Award” in 2003 from the Association of Metropolitan Sewerage Agencies (AMSA).
“Homeownership Hero Award” in 2004 from the National Homeownership Alliance
“President’s Award” in 2005 from the National League of Cities
“President’s Award” in 2005 from US Conference of Mayors
“President’s Award” in 2006 from the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents
“Man of the Year” in 2008 from the Billerica Boys & Girls Club
The Arlington Board of Selectmen dedicated its Town Hall Hearing room as the “Charles H. Lyons Hearing Room” on September 29, 2014.