Fiorentini Names Six-Member Haverhill Council on Youth Needs

The city will soon have a six-member panel of young leaders to offer their perspectives on Haverhill happenings, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said this week. At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, Fioretini plans to formally appoint the six Haverhill High School students set to join 2003 Hillie grad and committee chairwoman Robin Del Negro. “I am anxious to reestablish this board so that we can get young people involved in the city and get their perspective on what things can be done to make Haverhill better,” Fiorentini said. “Giving our kids more positive things to do and keeping our young people here in the city are keys to a better future.”

Ailish Ferrick, Gabriela Vargas, Leah Pearse, Dale Leone, Shannon Kaiser and Karyna Ward are expected to join others from the school department and the Haverhill Recreation Department on the board, Fiorentini’s office said.

Haverhill Names Greater Lawrence Tech Business Manager as Asst. Superintendent Finalist

The business manager for Greater Lawrence Technical School is expected to be formally interviewed this week by the Haverhill School Committee for the job of assistant superintendent. Maria Silva, who has managed finances eight years at the Andover vocational school, was formally named today as the sole finalist for the Haverhill post. Before taking over the business job, Silva worked as administrative assistant to the school principal for about five and a half years. She was first hired at Greater Lawrence Technical School during November 2001 to handle payroll. Silva became finalist by vote of the Haverhill School Committee April 11 and was notified the next day, Haverhill School Superintendent Margaret Marotta confirmed in an email to WHAV.

State DCF Investigating Another Haverhill Child Restraint; Officials Not Told For a Week

A state agency is investigating an April 12 child restraint issue at St. James School that, at least for a week, did not come with any district-ordered suspensions—seemingly contradicting newly articulated school policy. The incident—the second in a month—was confirmed for WHAV Friday by a spokeswoman for the state Department of Children and Families. The agency, whose role is “to keep children safe from abuse and neglect,” also reported it has not yet completed its investigation of a March 29 incident that saw the school principal and four others placed on paid leave. On Saturday morning, following WHAV’s inquiries, school Superintendent Margaret Marotta notified the School Committee by email.

School Admin Blames Vacation for Delaying Release of Second-in-Command Finalist

Haverhill’s school superintendent says complications related to April school vacation led her to delay publicly naming the finalist for the district’s second in command—a decision that runs counter to state law. Superintendent Margaret Marotta told WHAV by email Saturday the candidate was informed the Friday before school vacation that she is the finalist, but honored a request to withhold her name. “The person asked that we hold the name publicly—until they had the opportunity to tell their staff in person—as this the candidate is employed in a community within reasonable proximity of Haverhill,” Marotta explained. Although the name of the sole remaining candidate for the post of assistant superintendent of operations and finance has been brought to the attention of WHAV, the radio station has reluctantly agreed to honor the delay until noon today unless the name becomes public sooner. The new job is designed to combine the job of business manager with someone to oversee personnel, food service, maintenance and technology.

Haverhill School Officials Decline to Reveal Assistant Superintendent Finalist

Although the Haverhill School Committee voted last week to name one finalist out of 13 applicants for the job of assistant superintendent, school administrators Thursday declined WHAV’s request to reveal the individual. State public records law requires release of finalists’ names. Superintendent Margaret Marotta’s administrative assistant, Andrea Sheehan, gave no reason for the denial. She told WHAV by email, “The name of the candidate is not being released at this time. We will keep you informed as appropriate.” WHAV also made the request of Haverhill Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

Haverhill Student Nutrition Focus of New $18K Healthy Breakfast Program

Eight city schools are set to share in an $18,750 grant from Project Bread and other healthy eating advocacy groups for Haverhill to implement a program called “Breakfast After the Bell,” Mayor James J. Fiorentini and state Rep. Andy Vargas tell WHAV. The grant comes four months after Vargas co-sponsored legislation that advocated for a nutritious breakfast for city children so that attendance and test scores may improve. Vargas continues to prioritize nutrition through Haverhill Promise, the city’s effort to get all students reading at grade level by the end of third grade. “There’s a direct correlation between nutrition and academic success. Students can’t learn if they’re not fed.

Four Tilton First Graders Win Northern Essex Peace-Themed Poetry Contest

Paws up for peace at Haverhill’s Tilton School! Four first grade students at the city elementary school have been chosen as winners in the 11th annual Northern Essex Community College peace-themed poetry contest, Principal Bonnie Antkowiak tells WHAV. As part of classroom instruction by teacher Beth Perry, students learned about the different elements of a poem over the last several months. In addition to contributing different pieces to a weekly poetry book, students all submitted entries to the poetry contest sponsored by Northern Essex, Perry said. “This contest was a great way for them to show what they know as young poets beyond their own classroom doors,” Perry told WHAV.

Haverhill SEPAC Hosts April 23 Presentation on How to Help Struggling Readers

A Boston-based speech and language expert is headed to Haverhill next week to deliver a presentation to local parents on how to help struggling readers during the city’s April 23 Special Education Parent Advisory Council (SEPAC) meeting at Haverhill High School. The 6 p.m. session on Tuesday is open to all in the main conference room at 137 Monument St., and includes remarks from Dr. Tiffany P. Hogan, the director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute-backed Speech and Language Literacy Lab.