Tilton Elementary Students to Perform for Memorial Day

A decades-long Haverhill tradition continues this year when all John C. Tilton School students take part in the school’s annual Memorial Day celebratory concert. Music teacher Rebecca May said parents, veterans, and anyone with patriotic spirit wanting to honor veterans’ service and sacrifice are welcome to attend. Red, white, and blue attire is welcome and encouraged, she said. Tilton students from every grade will gather outdoors on the Hancock Street side of the school for the much-loved musical performance on Friday, May 24, beginning at 10 a.m. Rain date is Tuesday, May 28. There is no school on the Memorial Day holiday, Monday, May 27.

Haverhill High Teacher Remains on Leave After Unspecified Allegation

Shaun Ashworth, a history teacher at Haverhill High School, has been on administrative leave since April 1 for reasons left unspecified by the school district. “Upon notification of an allegation, the employee was immediately placed on administrative leave,” Superintendent Margaret Marotta wrote in a statement to WHAV. “All proper authorities were notified and an investigation is underway. The employee remains on leave as the investigation is nearing conclusion. This is a personnel matter and I am currently legally unable to share any further details.”

Ashworth led his AP U.S. Government and Politics class in creating a voter registration campaign for the most recent presidential primary.

Pfifferling Submits Resignation, Tells Haverhill School Committee He Wishes ‘Smooth Transition’

Haverhill schools’ Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling made it official Wednesday that he plans to leave his post, but told the School Committee he wishes to “ensure a smooth transition by completing any outstanding tasks and assisting with the handover of responsibilities to my successor.”

As WHAV reported first, Pfifferling of Groveland, said he accepted the post of assistant superintendent of finance and operations for Marblehead Public Schools pending completion of contract negotiations. In his letter to School Committee members, Pfifferling said, he “decided to pursue new opportunities that align more closely with my core values and a positive work environment. This decision was not made lightly, as I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working with the staff and talented teams at HPS under my supervision.”

He asked that the School Committee or its designee to discuss a transition plan and a “mutually acceptable effective date of my resignation. He concluded by thanking the committee for hiring him in 2019. “I was a Hillie from birth, and will be a Hillie for life.

Healey Appoints Former Sheriff Cousins, AgeSpan CEO Hatem-Roy to Northern Essex Trustees

Former Essex County Sheriff Frank G. Cousins Jr. and AgeSpan CEO Joan Hatem-Roy are the newest members of the Northern Essex Community College Board of Trustees. Gov. Maura T. Healey appointed each to five-year-terms.

Cousins, if Newburyport, served for more than two decades as the Essex County Sheriff in Middleton before retiring. He is also the former president of the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce & Industry, a former state representative and a former Newburyport city councilor. In his role as Sheriff, Cousins served as a key advisor to Northern Essex Community College as it partnered with the Sheriff’s Department to launch the Correctional Officers Training Academy, and as it developed its 26-week NECC Police Academy. Cousins is a former Northern Essex student previously served on the NECC Foundation Board.

Councilor Michitson Calls For More Vocational Alternatives to Four-Year College in Haverhill

With growing interest in alternatives to four-year college and not enough options, Haverhill City Councilor John A. Michitson called Tuesday night for collaboration between educational institutions offering vocational or career training. “The real goal, there, is to really try to determine the best path for each child, across boundaries. And if we become recognized for that, it will be a draw for industry because it’s their number one problem out there right now,” he said, referring to businesses struggling to find workers. Council Vice President Timothy J. Jordan noted how difficult it must be for students who end up at Haverhill High School, but wishing they could pursue a trade. “I just hate to think that the kids are wasting four years,” he said.

As Haverhill Schools Battle Deficit, Payano Budget Amendment Offers ‘A Glimmer of Hope’

A possible budget amendment by state Sen. Pavel M. Payano might ease painful cuts Haverhill Public Schools face next year. “We have a glimmer of hope,” School Committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti said at last week’s meeting. He and member Thomas Grannemann have lobbied lawmakers on Beacon Hill and organized other gateway cities grappling with deficits, as WHAV reported. Making up for high inflation the state did not account for in recent years, Payano proposed $100 million for gateway cities last week. If approved, the “extraordinary relief” would be distributed proportional to how much public school aid each of the 26 districts receives.

Northern Essex Community College Solicits Private Sector Bids to Redevelop Haverhill Sports Center

Northern Essex Community College is moving ahead with plans to have the private sector play a role in redeveloping and modernizing its Haverhill health and wellness facilities—an idea that has already attracted interest from the Haverhill YMCA. The state Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance and the college yesterday formally opened to door to bids for leasing and sharing part of the campus that, officials said, “will address deferred maintenance, contribute to campus decarbonization, foster neighborhood relationships and boost recruitment and retention by enabling vibrant athletic programming.”

“Vibrant health and wellness programming is not only beneficial to our students, and essential to retention and recruiting, but also serves as a connection directly to the community,” said Northern Essex President Lane A. Glenn. “This redevelopment project will position us to modernize our athletic, health and wellness offerings and meet the changing needs of our community head on.”

As WHAV reported first a year ago, the state and the college solicited preliminary ideas that would be developed in concert with talks with the college. The Haverhill YMCA suggested demolition of the existing college Sports and Fitness Center Building and replacing it with a 60,000 square-foot health and fitness center; 10,000 square-foot early learning center; academic achievement center, serving the Y’s targeted middle school and teen programming; outdoor multi-sport turf fields and fitness studios, created in collaboration with Northern Essex and Central Catholic High School. The YMCA mentioned the possibility of leasing the property for 99 years for $1 and converting its existing Winter Street building into an “affordable housing development.” Maine-based Treadwell Franklin Infrastructure also suggested a 50,000-90,000 square foot building that would include a strength and fitness center, running track, courts, multi-purpose studios, locker rooms, possible field turf and ancillary use and classroom spaces.

Haverhill’s Draft $126.6 Million School Spending Plan Less Than Current Year; Mostly Avoids Layoffs

With money for the next school year falling short of what is needed, Haverhill Public Schools aimed to preserve teaching staff above all in its proposed budget. Pending final approval, the number comes in at $126.6 million, Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling told School Committee members Thursday night. Despite rising prices, the district received around $1 million less in total than last year. Explaining technical terms, Pfifferling said the money is not enough to reach “level funding,” let alone to provide the same “level of services.”

Member Richard J. Rosa said, “You started out the presentation by saying, level funding is not a good thing, and we didn’t even get to level funding. It’s just important that people know.”

Superintendent Margaret Marotta’s said her guiding philosophy was to “have the least impact, day-to-day, on children,” which she identified after surveying the school community and collaborating with principals.