Fiorentini Celebrates Tilton MCAS Achievement at ‘ROAR’ Pep Rally

Mayor Fiorentini and Superintendent Margaret Marotta praised Tilton School students for MCAS achievement. (WHAV News photograph)

Mayor Fiorentini and Superintendent Margaret Marotta praised Tilton School students for MCAS achievement. (WHAV News photograph)

Haverhill’s Tilton Elementary School tigers have MCAS scores to roar about, according to Mayor James J. Fiorentini. The city leader joined Tilton’s staff and 470 students in kindergarten through fourth grade for their monthly pep rally Thursday that doubled as a celebration for their achievement on the statewide Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests.

Joined by Principal Bonnie Antkowiak and Superintendent Margaret Marotta, Fiorentini presented the school with his Mayor’s Excellence in Education Award after the school raised their MCAS score 20 points over the last three years—a boost from a 1 percentile rank to the percentile rank of 21.

At Thursday’s rally, Fiorentini said acknowledging Tilton’s achievement was a “no brainer,” as the school saw the biggest jump in results districtwide. He also applauded students for prioritizing attendance.

“Some years it’s tough and a lot of schools are in the running, and some years I don’t give out the award at all—but this year, it was a no brainer,” Fiorentini said. “One school did absolutely fabulous at bringing up their scores: The Tilton School!”

Antowiak praised her teaching staff for successfully securing and investing a $958,000 two-year turnaround grant into professional development sessions and parent support groups. The school also used grant money to add another bus to their school’s fleet—eliminating transportation as a barrier to attendance—and teamed with the YMCA for Friday student enrichment sessions.

Community support has been pivotal to Tilton, Antowiak said. Through donations from Fantini Bakery and Dr. John Maddox, students have been able to utilize Chromebook computers and an overhauled school library.

During Thursday’s assembly, Tilton students demonstrated the school’s use of the PBIS model of positive behavior support. Antowiak told WHAV that students are regularly awarded “paw tickets” for acts of kindness and adherence to school rules, with four students who accumulated the most tickets receiving new bikes and helmets donated by the family of literacy interventionist Mary Rose Early.