Haverhill Schools Accept City Maintenance Money, But Learns State Denies Moody Fix

Haverhill School Committee members Thursday night accepted an additional $60,000 for building maintenance only to find out the state has denied money for replacing Moody School’s aging roof. Maintenance of schools again rose to the forefront as members debated whether the school department’s focus should be fixing buildings or educating students. All of this came before School Committeeman Richard J. Rosa reported the state’s School Building Authority this week inexplicably refused to pay to replace Moody School’s 28-year-old roof. He explained, “They decided that we weren’t eligible because the Moody School only enrolls pre-K students.” Rosa, an early and vocal advocate for the using the state’s Accelerated Repair Program, said the state decision makes no sense, and he knows of no limitations on how school buildings are used. School Committee member Scott W. Wood Jr. cited Superintendent Margaret Marotta’s call for more school adjustment councilors as a reason to question using extra city money for buildings.

Council Approves $201 Million Haverhill Budget Upon Pact to Expand Maintenance

A pledge to hire a maintenance director, along with the hope of sharing the cost of a heating and cooling professional with the schools, were enough to convince a majority of city councilors Tuesday night to approve Haverhill’s $201 million spending plan. The new budget goes into effect next week. Council President John A. Michitson and Councilor Timothy J. Jordan voted no, holding out for a better building maintenance plan. Citing the city’s 1.6 million square feet of school buildings, Jordan said, the new plan still doesn’t lift the schools from the lowest maintenance rating. “It’s just not enough for me because I would like to see us shoot for being above ‘unkempt neglect,” he said.

Poth Retires from Northern Essex Community College; Business Center Now in Her Name

Even as her retirement party was starting Monday, Jean Poth was closing on yet another donation to Northern Essex Community College. And that, says Northern Essex President lane A. Glenn, personifies Poth’s nearly 45-year commitment to the local institution. “Jean works all the way up until the very last minute. Just please know she was working on a deal in the room today and transacting business and getting an agreement from this individual. He says, ‘And you know, you’re really going to miss her.

Approval of Haverhill’s More Than $200 Million Budget Hinges on School Maintenance

Approval of Haverhill’s more than $200 million spending plan hinges Tuesday night on improved school maintenance. City councilors voted 8-1 Thursday night to ask Mayor James J. Fiorentini to add five more maintenance workers to the school department. Not counting 43 janitors, that would provide a total of 11 people including the schools’ facilities supervisor. Most councilors and the mayor told WHAV there is room for compromise. Councilor Timothy J. Jordan, however, is drawing a line in the sand over the issue.

Jaffarian Volvo Ushers in Renovated Scandinavian-Inspired Haverhill Showroom

Haverhill’s Jaffarian Volvo ushered in a new showroom look at a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday. The renovation, according to Volvo, is “designed to reflect Scandinavian-inspired values of calm, clean lines with ‘cool on the outside and warm on the inside’-style architecture.” Volvo officials, customers and members of the business community heaped congratulations and best wishes on President and General Manager Gary Jaffarian and his family. Jaffarian explained his grandfather was born in Haverhill and his father first began selling Volvos in 1958. All four generations of family involved in the business have graduated from Haverhill High School. “Our roots are Haverhill and committed to the community and surrounding communities in serving the automotive needs for many years to come.

Haverhill’s ‘Rightsizing’ School Plan Shifts Principals, Creates New Central Office Post

Leadership of several schools is shifting as the Haverhill School Department implements its so-called “rightsizing plan.”

Among the biggest changes, Pentucket Lake School Principal Dianne Connolly leaves the school for a new central office job as director of multi-tiered systems of support. Connolly, who has been Pentucket Lake’s principal since 2009, will be succeeded by current Walnut Square School Principal Maureen Gray. Superintendent Margaret Marotta described the movements as “key changes in leadership” at last Thursday’s School Committee meeting. She explained Connolly’s new role. “We try to build interventions and supports across the school district that meet the needs of all kids,” she said.

Governor’s Designation Means Northern Essex Early College Free to Haverhill Students

The Haverhill High School Early College Program at Northern Essex Community College was one 13 high schools and eight public colleges statewide to receive the endorsement of Gov. Charlie Baker Thursday. The designations mean all courses are free to Haverhill High students beginning this fall. Baker, at a ceremony at Bunker Hill Community College, awarded designations to the early college programs. Northern Essex Community College President Lane A. Glenn said he is pleased the governor has made Early College a priority. “These students learn how to be successful in college and they also save a considerable amount on the cost of their college education. Early College programs address student success and college affordability.”

The Haverhill Early College Program began five years ago, and the first graduates—a group of 18— were recognized in January of 2015.

Parents Argue Haverhill Must Spend More on Schools, Students at Public Hearing

Correction: An earlier version of this story used an incorrect first name for one of the speakers before the School Committee. WHAV regrets the error. No residents opposed the approved $89 million school budget during a public hearing Thursday night, but most appealed for more spending. Haverhill School Committee members heard calls for the city to increase per-pupil spending, better recruit Spanish-speaking teachers and improve building maintenance. Joanna Dix of the Haverhill Education Coalition told members this year’s $4.8 million school budget increase does little more than cover inflation.