Euthemia Gilman (Northern Essex Community College photograph.)
A few days after teachers voted not to support continuation of the Silver Hill Horace Mann Charter School, the school’s founder and current chairman is resigning.
Euthemia Gilman, who was the force behind launching the Horace Mann charter 11 years ago as the new principal, announced her resignation Tuesday night.
“My purpose for my return in September was to participate in either obtaining the second Charter Renewal or converting to an Innovative School,” Gilman said. She explained the 246 to 114 vote of the Haverhill Education Association Thursday killed the charter renewal, and Silver Hill teachers voted last week to “not seek a conversion to Innovation.”
Gilman pointed to the successes of the school. “…Staff brought the school out of a restructuring status with looming imminent state take-over within 3 years to a Level 1 school. However, more importantly was the establishment of an educational community that young children could thrive in safely for six years beginning in the free (all-day kindergarten) program.” She added, “Teachers participated in professional development that was linked to the diagnostic testing to improve their teaching skills and talents. Teachers researched programs and systems that help nurture positive social and emotional attitudes in its students.”
In early May, Gilman appeared resigned to the charter school ending, but spoke of the advantages of converting to an innovation academy.
“Of the three options—the three doors, door one, door two or door three—I would take door two. I would take innovative academy,” she told WHAV.
Innovation Schools are a bit of a hybrid between district-owned charter schools and standard public schools. The union loses some of its power, but such schools retain the right to supplement finances with grants and its own nonprofit foundation money. She saw many advantages. “You become a flagship elementary school. I would say that does more good, especially for the quadrant and for the district, as opposed to stirring up and getting people upset.”
Gilman resigns, effective Wednesday. “The journey for Silver Hill will continue as the future unfolds. The strength of this school is you and only you will continue to write Silver Hill’s future,” she wrote.