School Chief Scully Returns Home After Hospitalization

Haverhill Superintendent of Schools James F. Scully during a recent meeting of the Haverhill School Committee. (WHAV News photograph.)

Haverhill Superintendent of Schools James F. Scully is home after three days in the hospital.

Scully, 68, was discharged Saturday afternoon from Holy Family Hospital, Methuen. He was admitted last Wednesday when he reported labored breathing and a spike in his blood pressure. Although the superintendent had quadruple bypass surgery in 2007, no cardiac problems were found. He was given antibiotics and remained in the hospital as a precaution.

“I’m ok. I still don’t have full strength in my breath, but I’m feeling better,” Scully told WHAV Monday morning. He is scheduled to see physicians again Wednesday and Thursday.

While hospitalized, a letter supporting Scully was signed by 25 principals and assistant principals in support of Scully. The letter challenged “inaccurate information” regarding English Language Learners (ELL) being distributed following the July 25 suspension and subsequent firing of English Learner Education Supervisor Dr. Graciella Trilla.

Members of the Haverhill Hispanic Coalition called on the Haverhill School Committee not to renew Scully’s contract, which expires at the end of the school year. Among other things, the coalition alleged various civil rights violations concerning ELL students, such as 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.

Scully had also initially agreed to address a parents’ meeting last Wednesday in City Hall, but withdrew when he said he believed the focus would be on Trilla. “On advice of legal counsel for the Haverhill Public Schools I have been instructed that I should not participate in discussion, which will primarily focus on personnel matters within the school department,” he told parents Tuesday.

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