Hispanic Coalition Calls for Ouster of Superintendent Scully

Migdalia Joubert, president, Haverhill Hispanic Coalition, during the Aug. 25 meeting of the Haverhill School Committee. (Photograph by Alberto M. Surís, courtesy of Rumbo News.)

Haverhill Superintendent of Schools James F. Scully.

Haverhill Superintendent of Schools James F. Scully.

Members of Haverhill Hispanic Coalition are calling for the ouster of Superintendent of Schools James F. Scully, alleging various civil rights violations concerning English Language Learners (ELL).

Complaints center on the suspension of Dr. Graciela Trilla, district supervisor of English Learner Education until she was placed on administrative leave July 25. In a letter this week to Scully and all city elected officials, the coalition protests student overcrowding, transporting ELL students away from their neighborhood school, too few Spanish-speaking translators and failure to appoint Trilla to the post of assistant superintendent, among other concerns. The letter comes just as school committee members debate whether to renew Scully’s contract.

“We are formally imploring that Mr. Scully’s contract not be renewed. It is time that Mr. Scully move along and release the district into the hands of capable leadership who has the interest of all students in mind,” read a separate letter to city councilors. The letter was signed by the board of directors of the Haverhill Hispanic Coalition. While board members were not listed by name, they are said to include Claudia Hoyas, who presented grievances during the last school committee meeting; Migdalia Joubert, president; Porfirio Matias, treasurer; and Diana Marin, secretary.

Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini, who also received copies of the letters, says the group raises valid concerns, but Scully should remain.

“They have some legitimate concerns in terms of diversity of hiring. We’ve done a very good job on the city side of having bilingual people in every city department, and we need to do the same thing on the school department side. I do have confidence in the superintendent,” Fiorentini told WHAV this morning.

Trilla, recently elected president of the Haverhill Public Schools Supervisory and Administrative union, was notified Friday by the school department of her imminent firing, she confirmed today. Asked about the report Friday, Scully responded, “Her status is that she is currently on administrative leave. Beyond that I am unable to comment on a personnel matter.”

The union, in a letter to the city, said it may file a “prohibited practice charge” against the school district for “retaliation” against Trilla for her taking the union post, lawsuit for violation of “whistleblower” laws and discrimination charge with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

“It’s racism, it’s misogyny on the most outlandish level,” Trilla charged in an interview with WHAV this morning. She said she is being fired for insubordination because she challenged plans to move ELL students from Tilton to the Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School. While she agreed Tilton overcrowding required a solution, she proposed moving general education students to Silver Hill rather than ELL students. Under state law, she explained, ELL students must be segregated from charter school populations, but this requirement does not apply to other students.

Trilla and union attorney Colin Confoey have a final meeting with Scully and City Solicitor Willian D. Cox Jr. Friday morning, she said.

‘Pandemonium’ on First Day of School

School leaders knew of the Tilton overcrowding in May and planned to add a fifth ELL class, Trilla said. Student names were removed from the Tilton roster and would have moved to Silver Hill “provided we had permission from the state.” When parents of her summer school classes began asking the status of the plan, Trilla said, she didn’t know because other school “staff was directed not to respond to me.” She said “pandemonium” broke out on the first day of school.

“One child went from Tilton to Golden Hill, and back to Tilton…these kids were in limbo,” she said. Making matter worse, Trilla charged, there were not enough translators on hand to tell parents what was happening.

She said she was placed on administrative leave with three days left in the summer school program and neither faculty nor parents knew what happened. “They confiscated my computer. I had no access to 10 years of my files and programs. I am revered as an authority in this field—nationally and in the state…(Scully) didn’t like me being assertive and transparent. I was forbidden to tell other faculty or students,” Trilla told WHAV.

During the school committee meeting Aug. 25, Scully rebutted some of the claims, He said parents are being contacted, as in the past, through individual schools. He pointed out existing bilingual services are being expanded to multi-lingual.

“We still have the translator services. We added another translator this year. Our translation services, our phys ed services, our transportation services, we have bilingual people handling in all the areas. For example, at the Consentino School we have a bilingual secretary and we just advertised again for more. We’re looking for people to speak four different languages,” Scully said.

Dr. Trilla Passed Over for Assistant Superintendent Post

Trilla was a candidate for the post of assistant superintendent that was filled late last month by Director of Accountability Jared Fulgoni. In her cover letter for the job, she cited her education, qualifications and experience in her current position since 2000 and previous post as a Haverhill High School teacher for nine years.

“I know the community. I know the initiatives that have met with success. I live in Haverhill and have raised my two children here. I am a steady and dedicated candidate who will continue the great work begun as a major contributor to the present state of the Haverhill Public Schools,” she wrote, in part, according to documents obtained by WHAV.

15 thoughts on “Hispanic Coalition Calls for Ouster of Superintendent Scully

  1. Max,

    I truly enjoyed your fragmented post on Jack/John, but I really had to fasten my seat-belt when…..wait for it……wait for it….. the Trump bumper sticker came into play. CODE RED, YES THE BUMPER STICKER HAS BEEN NOTICED!
    I mean, WILD stuff right there, Max! Let’s call a spade a spade here, you truly got surgical when you outed the “men of color” whom have been bought-off by the SBC (street slang for Scully’s Boy’s Club). Now, given that the “men of color” have numerous Doctorate degrees & a proven records, I initially felt that you might be walking a slippery-slope when you insinuated that these “men of color put their heads down and take it”, candidly and bluntly implying that their years of sacrifice, hard-work, commitment, and most importantly, their pride, had been bought off…..but then I remembered your thesis on Trump bumper stickers & the metamorphosis of Jack/John, and felt silly for questioning it. I just wonder if Jack has a Bat Signal, like Batman, which calls for the Dark Knight’s return, and then John appears at the signals first sign? Maybe you could use your Detective Degree, and find out.

    What type of wanna-be, degenerate blogger, spews propaganda about the “men of color” tucking their tails between their legs for money, and then attempts to portray themselves as some Freedom Fighter with empty statements about civil rights & children’s futures? Your post was stale. It was diluted. It was disgusting. These men of color that you reference, whom have allegedly been bought off & bullied by your fabricated club, have more experience, more education, and have shed more blood, sweat and tears to reach their destination, than you could possibly fathom from behind your computer. Only a complete fraud, using a code name, would come on a message-board with no factual information, and imply that these men have sacrificed their pride and beliefs, in exchange for being “paid well”.

    Most importantly, I only know one principal in Haverhill with a Trump bumper sticker named John, and if this is the John you reference, I happen to work for him. To come on a public message board like this, while hiding behind a computer and using some Kiddie Camp code name like Max to slander him, is deplorable…but to do so on a random suspicion, as you do, reeks of a complete loser, and a truly lonely sole, with a very empty and miserable home life.

    I witness the path that John blazes not just for students of all colors, but just as importantly, their families. Unbeknownst to just about all, John has fed needy students and their families, he has clothed them, he has supplied them with gifts and with daily necessities that otherwise, wouldn’t have been supplied. Most importantly, he has supplied them with love, which is clearly evident from the sea of high-fives & fist-pumps that await him from the hundreds upon hundreds of students that line up in the hallway on a daily basis.
    If you had taken the time to further investigate your claims, before posting, you’d have known this.

    Clean it up.

  2. Jack, don’t you mean “John”?

    It’s apparent that you work for the district.

    Trump supporter. Yes, the bumper sticker has been noticed.

    A Principal in Haverhill.

    You should not make statements like “these” people.

    You should learn the meaning of “racist” and then try to use it correctly.

    You should care about your job and want to do it well.

    You should not have children’s educations and futures at your mercy.

    (Editor’s note: on advice of legal counsel, a sentence has been omitted from this comment.)

    You should not be working in education.


    As for Mr. Scully and his group of boys (that Jack/John is part of) – it’s a group of racist, ignorant, lazy men who don’t want to work. They get by doing the very minimum in order to get those sweet 6 figure salaries (or close to it). They undermine and diminish the hard working, intelligent people in the district who care and want to improve the quality of education at HPS. Anybody who happens to get in their way gets pushed out or severely mistreated. People are afraid for their jobs if they speak up against any of the members of the “Scully’s Boys Club”. I’ve heard the racist and misogynist comments and jokes. The men of color, who happen to have higher-level jobs, just put their heads down and take it, as they are paid well to do so. THIS is the leadership of an urban school district? How sad for the children of Haverhill.

    James Scully needs to go. He has no place in education. For the love of all the children in Haverhill, get him and his cronies out asap!

    Regarding, Dr. Trilla (Not Ms.) being “difficult” to work with, Jack, is it because she insists that the civil rights of her students and families aren’t violated? Is it because she expects people to do their jobs and be in compliance with the laws? If more administrators in the district had half of her commitment, drive, and intelligence, HPS would be a high performing district. The kids love her and their parents love her. You have misspoken.
    Many people in the district are aware of James Scully continuously trying to throw her and her department under the bus. A few years ago, there was a 2-page spread in the paper where James Scully stated that the entire district was failing due to the ELLs. The fact is, the ELLs generally do better than their white, native English-speaking counterparts. Too bad nobody reads the data or asks Mr. Scully for proof to back up his statements. (Until now. And then when people start questioning him, the hate surfaces.)

  3. Facebook.com/Migdalia.joubert

    Check out the so-called head of the Haverhill Hispanic Colition.
    September 28, 2015 ” I used my boobies to get out of a speeding ticket.”

    This person clearly does not have the class to judge who should be running a public school department.

    This Coalition has been absent from advocating for anything until a disgruntled employee that had an axe to grind. This is no coalition. It does not represent me as a proud Haverhill citizen who is Latina. My children are receiving a top quality education in Haverhill.

  4. Dear Mr. Burns,
    This issue is not as simple as you make it sound. This is about the District upholding the laws, legal standards, and established mandates for equitable access to education, the right to information, appropriate facilities, and qualified personnel among many other regulations aligned with the accepting of State and Federal funds as a public school entity in the U.S.

    It is about the systematic overt, and micro-aggressions leveled against the children of our Latino, minority, immigrant, low income, and Special Needs families in the City.

    As for “racism” and “misogyny:…. I assume you are neither a woman nor a member of a recognized discriminated class. Both are very serious charges not mentioned with levity or as a “quip”.

    I suggest you read the Massachusetts General Laws under Chapter 71A, and the U.S. Constitution specifically Amendments I and XIII. No one is above the law Mr. Burns.

    • “No one is above the law Mr. Burns” –

      I do not know you, and I’m guessing outside of this forum, until now, you never heard of me, a fellow Citizen Nobody. If you did, you would know I have used every platform available to me, for the better part of over a decade, to prove that in fact there are a great many people “above the law” due to the simple fact that the rule of law in this state and country are no longer equal, which de facto makes the rule of law absent, except for nobody’s like you and me, then the rule of law applies.

      “I assume you are neither a woman nor a member of a recognized discriminated class.” –

      I’m certainly not a woman, and by simple biology, I’m a human being who happens to have the genetic code of being Caucasoid, however, I don’t particulary care what race or ethnicity one is. However, I am married to a very strong woman who works in a field dominated by men, and have seen misogyny up close. I would certainly agree with you that mysoginy exists in this city, once again, our family has dealt with city employees first hand that fit this profile. As for racism, that’s a fact of life, and whether you’re Hispanic, Black, White, or wherever one is from, it is here to stay, long past when you and I are worm food.

      “micro-aggressions leveled against the children of our Latino, minority, immigrant, low income, and Special Needs families in the City.” –

      “Micro-aggressions”? Please. That’s political speak for having ones feelings hurt, the law doesn’t protect your feelings, as much as many wish it did. You also might want to take a look at those demographics you’re discussing because this city has bent over backwards for them, with the debt(s) and budget(s) to prove it. If anything, you should be thankful for what city officials have done in this regard as I have championed AGAINST them for years. It has come at an enourmous costs (not just fiscally), a cost of which you are just now complaining about and seeking legal remedy against. You’re a little late. Just so we’re also clear, the overhwleming population of Haverhill is low income, you don’t have to be Latino or Black to be poor in this city.

      As for Scully, I personally do not like his politics. However, a Black/Hispanic friend of mine loves the man, and while anedoctal, you can’t compartmentalize that everyone that isn’t Caucasian is against Scully, it simply isn’t true.

      In the end, you may have your day to be heard, which of course is your right. Regardless of the outcome, good luck and thanks for the response.

  5. Wake up people All of you need to look at where the school district is in the state—nearly DEAD LAST in academics and it has steadily declined since Scully took over. He has appointed administrators who have been let go from other districts and suck up to him at the expense of the students of Haverhill—ALL students…not just Hispanics. Trying to blame one group for his shortcomings and missteps is so blatantly ignorant. Why doesn’t anyone look at Scully’s bad decisions that the SC has approved for years–including the made up job of “Accountability” where some guy from across the country was appointed (after being let go from his job) and who left after a year, collecting his $125000 for doing nothing. Where was his accountability? Where is Scully’s accountability? Look at the big picture—Scully is the highest paid superintendent in the Merrimack Valley–no doctorate–no instructional leadership or data driven decisions. How about THAT for WTF? I am a teacher who now works in another district where the students are the priority no matter what language they speak!!!!!! The mayor and three members of the school committee should be ashamed of themselves for allowing this to happen to what was once a good district. Sad…. and glad I’m in a much better community

  6. Not enough translators to tell the parents what’s happening? Sounds as though the parents also need to learn English. This is, after all, the country that they chose to live in, and this IS an English speaking Country.

    As I shop, I have experienced folks jiber-jabbing in whatever language they speak, knowing the average bloke who foots the bill for all of these special programs to accommodate the Non-English speaking, doesn’t have a clue what is being said. A sorry state of affairs that we have so many people who neither speak, nor want to learn how to speak English. And it rolls down hill to the kids in school. They neither speak nor want to learn how to speak English. And what will happen to these kids when they are out of school?

    How does ANY teacher manage to teach students these days? AND, what a sorry state of affairs. I don’t agree with everything that Scully does, but my goodness….. to also have to deal with this mess is over the top.

    • We teach any student that is in front of us and let me tell you- we have the hardest working, best behaved, most respectful students in the district! AS well as hardest working parents -they made the ultimate sacrifice ,to come here (unbeknownst to them)what a mistake it would have been ,because we are the most ignorant, close minded Neanderthals inhabiting any country in the world

  7. “…too few Spanish-speaking translators…It’s racism, it’s misogyny on the most outlandish level” –


    We have enough issues with Americans not articulating the English language properly and this “coalition” is whining about their own not having enough Spanish-speaking translators? Please. Can’t forget to throw in the good ol’ “racism” quip to ensure attention to the ideological narrative.

    How about looking into the mirror as to why your own kids do not speak, read, or write English properly, if at all.

  8. Wow! “these” people Wow! If “Jack” is the kind of person who supports this superintendent, his comments prove that there is no place for him and his supporters. Scully has replaced every female administrator who has left the district with a male with the exception of one principal The two female administrators who were mentioned left because they couldn’t work with him and couldn’t take it anymore. You can only put up with a bully for so long

  9. I agree! It’s about time someone realized the incompetence and unfair practices that Scully is all about. Many good people have left the district and none one looks at the reasons behind their departures. I thought the mayor is supposed to be about the students of Haverhill. Why is the mayor siding with this person who is unquestionably a bully and totally incompetent? Maybe he will be exposed by this latest display of injustice and if he is and he goes down, the mayor will go with him.

  10. This issue exists because Scully is one of the few people with the guts to stand up to “these” people. “These” people being the racist members of the Haverhill Hispanic Coalition who think their needs somehow deserve priority and preferential treatment. This is a destructive and divisive group of racists that has no place in the city.

    For Graciela Trilla to make an accusation of misogyny against Jim Scully is outrageous. All you have to do is look at his track record throughout his career of hiring, promoting and providing professional development to women he has supervised to see the claim is simply insane. Under Scully’s tutelage both Mary Malone and Julie Kukenberger developed skills and experience that enabled them to become superintendent’s of school systems themselves.

    Ms. Trilla, you’re being fired and didn’t get the Asst. Supt position because you have a major league attitude problem. You’re coworkers find you difficult to work with, you’re arrogant to everyone you interact with, and parents greatly dislike you. Most importantly, you have a racist bias to a racial ethnic group that has no place in a public school setting. Your problem is you ended up with a boss that isn’t afraid to call it like it is.

    • Hello Jack!

      There you go again spewing your hatred.”These people” are law abiding tax paying citizens and human beings that have the same rights as every other City Of Haverhill citizens. You are a coward that hides behind a computer preaching Jim Scully’s discriminatory message!!!

      Jim Scully is afraid of well educated Hispanics and especially a Latin women like Dr Trilla. She has all the credentials to be an excellent superintendent that is why he is so afraid of her. She is well liked by all students, families and her staff! Why don’t tell your DRUNK BOYS and their fan club to start working for the children of this great city without all their hatred and discrimination.

      James Scully’s administration has always been a regime of fear, intimidation, segregation, discrimination and surrounded by a bunch of old drunk bullies.

      This is not only a Latino problem but also a problem for many other cultures in the City of Haverhill. This a community problem and we need to work together for the future of our children no matter the age, race, sex, national origin, religion or disabilities.

      Many of the teachers and faculty know what is going on but fear for their jobs. So they will not speak out but unlike Dr. Trilla she finally said enough is enough and uncovered what truly is happening in the Haverhill School System.