HEA Awards Scholarship; Vargas Urges Teachers to Stand Firm

Haverhill Education Association President Lisa Begley presents a citation and scholarship to Haverhill High School senior Julia McLaughlin.

Haverhill High School senior Julia McLaughlin plans to attend Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Conn., this fall. She received a boost last night from the Haverhill Education Association (HEA), which awarded her a $2,300 scholarship to help pay tuition.

The scholarship came during the union’s annual honors dinner, recognizing long-term educators and those retiring. It also featured a talk by Haverhill City Councilor Andy Vargas, who urged teachers to continue fighting for change.

McLaughlin, daughter of David McLaughlin and Ellen Sullivan, plans to study nursing. She wrote the winning essay to receive the scholarship, paid for by Haverhill teachers who collected the money during the school year. McLaughlin credited her various teachers for helping her consider career options, and pursue volunteer work at Emmaus House and Lawrence General Hospital. She is also a member of the high school’s Excel Club, Students Against Drunk Driving and National Honor Society, and participated in track and softball, according to Anthony Parolisi, HEA second vice president and the night’s master of ceremonies.

The union has offered scholarships for the past five years.


Haverhill City Councilor Andy Vargas addresses members of the Haverhill Education Association.

Vargas, invited as speaker to the honors dinner, said the skills students learn in Haverhill public schools—particularly “critical thinking, curiosity and discovery”—are needed “more than ever.”

“In a year where ignorance has ‘trumped’ thoughtful reasoning, when bigotry is defined as ‘telling it like it is,’ when a straight-up disregard for facts has been labeled as “shaking things up,” educators have never been more important. What you do every day will lead the way out of this embrace of ignorance,” Vargas said. “In fact, if Mr. Trump would have taken Mr. (Ted) Kempinski’s U.S. History class, he might know that it was, in fact, the U.S. that ‘jumped’ Mexico’s border,” he said.

Vargas told the story of a fellow classmate who “came from a tough household and was exposed to too much, too early in his life.” However, thanks to Marc Harvey, instructor of a European History class, the student became inspired. Today, Vargas’ friend has received an associate’s degree from Northern Essex Community College and on his way to completing a bachelor’s at UMass Lowell.

The city councilor asked educators to resist being discouraged by such issues as “teacher pay, testing, support from administration, comfort in speaking out, special ed and more.” Instead, Vargas asked them to continue standing up and fight for changes in “policy, procedure, curriculum or discipline.” “You are our boots on the ground. Nobody knows better than you,” he added.

The dinner also honored 2016 retirees. They are Erin Barnard, Tilton; Pamela Bergeron, Golden Hill; Walter “Chip” Dunn, Haverhill High; Joan Forrest, Whittier; Paula Joy, Consentino; Bonnie Porter, Whittier; Jeanne Quinn, Bradford; David Reed, Haverhill High; Deborah Sasso-Flanagan, Haverhill High; Sophie Scamporino, Haverhill High; Joanne Sinclair, Nettle; Ellie Sinkewicz, Haverhill High; and Judith Steinman, Moody.

Twenty-year veterans recognized were Kerri Alves, Tilton; Beverly Berry, Hunking; Julie Berthiaume, Whittier; Sue Brandon, Nettle; Jane Comeau, Haverhill High; Beth Buschini, Nettle; Teresa Desmarais, Walnut Square; Anne Derzon, Bartlett; Judith Nesson, Burnham; George Nigro, Haverhill High; and Lauren Sanguedolce, Whittier.

3 thoughts on “HEA Awards Scholarship; Vargas Urges Teachers to Stand Firm

  1. So, Mr Vargas decides to go political in his speech huh ? Interesting. Mr. Vargas must support the effort by Mexico to take back parts of our country ??? Mr. Vargas must support open borders as well ??? Does he also support illegal immigration ??? How about sanctuary cities ??? He must support giving more benefits to Illegal immigrants ?? How about drivers licenses ?? He also must support giving preference to illegals for public housing too ??

    Jack above exposed Mr. Vargas for who he really is. But, I bet there is more to find out. It is time to look into him and the people who support him. Heads up residents of Haverhill we have another loonie bin on our hands !

  2. It’s just amazing that a person who has never had a job outside of government or volunteering as a progressive community organizer, never mind actually paying all the taxes that funds all of this city’s, state’s and country’s out of control liberalism, can have so much knowledge about how it all works.

    Building a wall to stop the $50Billion a year in drugs flowing into this country killing a generation of young people is seen as bigoted by liberals like Acorn Andy. Andy, why weren’t you ranting about bigotry as you stood in Swasey Field this week after children were in harm’s way because of the direct result of failed liberal public policy in this state?
    Let’s not tell it like it is, right?

    Your reference to facts, especially your inability to bring them up in a room of educators, is entertaining Andy. The average cost to educate a student in this country is $10,000.00 per student, per year (in Haverhill it is $16,000.00). With there being 400,000 Anchor Babies born a year in this country that means when they reach school age it is costing Americans $4BILLION a year, or $50Billion over 12 years, to educate those kids. And that is not a one year cost, Americas are incurring those costs EVERY year because of this insanity. Why didn’t you bring up the fact that teacher’s would be better paid, working in better schools with better resources if Americans spent that money on them, and their students, instead of the kids born in this country for the sole purpose of ripping us all off? I know, that’s bigotry to even bring it up, isn’t it Andy? Let’s just keep it all quiet and not tell it like it is.

    Teachers and administrators in the Haverhill Education Association…you need to be aware…hardcore progressive liberals like Acorn Andy are NOT your friend. Their progressive agenda dictates that they promote groups and public policy which is in direct competition for financial resources of your own. Their message is a total contradiction and full of hypocrisy. With the competing allegiances goes the funding that otherwise would have helped you to do your job’s better, in a better work environment and the ability to be better compensated for doing it. With all due respect, when you continue to vote for and elect liberals like Andy and then have to fight and claw year after year for every penny or resource you get because there is nothing left after paying for all of the out of control liberalism in this country and state you have no one to blame but yourselves.

    • Well said. Imagine $16k per student. What a joke and a travesty. Taxpayers are getting screwed as they pay more and get less. Someday maybe people will wake up to what is going on.