PHOTO: Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Riley Visits Haverhill High

Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley joined Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Superintendent Margaret Marotta, Haverhill High School Principal Glenn Burns and others for a visit to the school Sept. 20, 2019. (WHAV News photograph)

Embarking on a tour across the Commonwealth to tout a program he calls “deeper learning,” state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley knew just where his first stop would be on Friday: Haverhill High School.

Riley, a former superintendent in Lawrence, headed to the Monument Street campus Friday to mingle with Mayor James J. Fiorentini, Superintendent Margaret Marotta, members of the Haverhill School Committee and City Council and State House delegation before serving as the guest of honor during an assembly with students in the auditorium.

During that session, he presented a program that encouraged students that “all means all” when it comes to succeeding in their studies and extra curricular activities. Speaking to the instructors in attendance, Riley said he intends to unveil a platform he called “deeper learning” to keep students engaged in and out of the classroom.

“We need to get back to being more engaging for our students. I was a special education teacher for a long time and saw a lot of kids diagnosed with ADD, and sometimes I wonder if our kids had ADD or if they have a low threshold for boredom,” he said. “I’ve asked our teachers how we can be more engaging in our lessons to youth, wrapped up in something called ‘deeper learning.’”

Riley, along with local and state leaders, had the chance to audit Cliff Ashbrook’s Introduction to Programming class, where sophomores were learning how to use Python software, and stopped into the Healthcare Occupation Lab, where students in all grades gain hands’ on medical experience.

Principal Glenn Burns was thrilled to welcome Riley to the school, telling students the commissioner’s views align well with the Hillie way.

“This is what we do it for: All the adults here are to help you express yourselves, grow and achieve your dreams,” Burns said. “Your input is greatly valued in that process. I want to give a shout-out to our policymakers and the Commissioner, Jeff Riley, for supporting us in that mission.”

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