Haverhill Native Morillo Delivers Message of Hope for Young People at Talks Today

Haverhill native Michy E. Morillo, who travels the country as a speaker and coach, talks with Haverhill High students today and the public tonight about her message of hope for young people. Haverhill Violence Intervention and Prevention, known as VIP, invited Morillo, now of Florida. She was expelled from Haverhill High School more than 20 years ago, served time in juvenile detention and has since dedicated her life to coaching, mentoring and advocating for young people to begin their journeys of self-development for success. Two years ago, Morillo authored a workbook, “Cell Dreamer,” an eight-week, self-development course for incarcerated youth. The course, along with coaching, offers tools and guidance to increase knowledge, challenge behavior and change actions that can assist with a more productive return to society.

Russell Becomes Principal at Haverhill’s Caleb Duston Hunking School

Jennifer Russell assumes the role of principal of Haverhill’s Caleb Duston Hunking School, as Theresa Kirk leaves for, what was described as, a “new opportunity.”

Russell, a long-term Hunking School assistant principal, agreed to lead the school for at least the remainder of the school year, said Superintendent Margaret Marotta in a statement. Kirk came to work in Haverhill this summer, succeeding Shannon Gilligan who was named supervisor of English Language Arts in Methuen. Kirk had been principal at St. Mary of the Assumption School in Brookline. Russell began teaching in Haverhill Public schools in 2001.

Haverhill Schools to Seize Misused Cell Phones; Add Counselors, Security and Resource Officer

Haverhill schools are hiring two new adjustment counselors and two security guards for the high school, bringing in a school resource officer for a middle school and adopting a zero-tolerance policy on student use of cell phones during any fights. The Haverhill School Committee took the steps last night to get ahead of what has been a disciplinary problem at schools around the country largely blamed on the pandemic and social media. Mayor James J. Fiorentini called for seizure of student phones, noting their roles in aggravating behavioral problems when videos are shared on social media. “I think we have to take immediate action and that immediate action should be that we have a policy that if a student videotapes a fight, that student loses his cell phone, his or her cell phone,” he said. The cell phone policy followed a line of questioning by Committee member Richard J. Rosa that found no disciplinary rules are in place for misuse.

J. G. Whittier School Serves About 400 at Third Annual Thanksgiving Feast Celebration

Up to 400 families received full, hot Thanksgiving meals last night as Haverhill’s John Greenleaf Whittier School sponsored its third annual Thanksgiving Feast Celebration. Like last year, because of the ongoing pandemic, organizers Barbara Greenwood and Tiffany Midolo assembled a drive-up at the Concord Street school. Greenwood told WHAV the idea evolved to help families who would otherwise not enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. She explained the origins of the event and how it has changed. “We always give out turkeys every year.

Whittier Tech Students Pool Talents and Collect Nearly 7,000 Food Items for Pantries

Students at Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School collected a record-breaking amount of food—6,973 canned goods and non-perishable items in total—during this year’s collection. Superintendent Maureen Lynch said Whittier Tech’s Skills USA chapter spearheaded the drive, pooling talents of students in various programs. They increased their efforts after learning food insecurity increased in Massachusetts due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Skills USA members began planning the drive with advisors Jane Moskevitz, Bruce Boiselle, and Jonathan Warne in September. Chapter President Jaidyn Craig, a junior in Medical Assisting from Haverhill, used morning announcements to share facts about food insecurity with fellow students. Maddy Dawkins, a CAD junior from Haverhill, became the student organizer, collecting student donations and shopping for additional food items.

Design and Visual Communications students led by teacher Cate Cashman designed and created the posters placed in every classroom and hallway, with the support of CAD Drafting.

Greater Lawrence Tech Students Repair Donated Car, Allowing Veteran to Keep His Job

Greater Lawrence Technical School students recently repaired a donated car that enabled a veteran to commute to work and keep his job. Students, staff and representatives of the non-profit Second Chance Cars presented the Ford Fiesta to U.S. Army veteran Kevin Trayers of Melrose. Trayers works full-time in security in Boston. His old car with 180,000 miles on it was no longer safe and Trayers risked losing his job. “For 32 years, people have been telling me, ‘Thank you for your service.’ I want to tell each and every one of you, ‘Thank you for your service,’” Trayers told the group.

D’Amato’s ‘Mullet’ Brings Online Fame to Northern Essex Community College Basketball Player

It used to be, as the old Clairol commercial goes, that “only your hairdresser knows for sure.” Northern Essex Community College Knights basketball player Matthew D’Amato has turned that notion, um, on its head. College alum Andrew Comeau, who contributes to the popular @ballislife social media accounts, took a video of D’Amato’s distinctive ‘do during a Nov. 3 game. After obtaining permission to share it, the video went viral online Monday night. “I had no idea the video would blow up the way it did.

Officials Say Haverhill ‘Kids are Struggling Mightily;’ School Fights Not Gang-Related

Since the start of the school year, Haverhill High School has experienced 15 fights involving a total of 44 students. Contrary to popular guesswork, though, police say the fisticuffs are not gang related and school staff find those involved tend to be younger students. Haverhill Police Capt. Wayne Tracy told a gathering of families Tuesday night at Haverhill High School “there is no evidence to suggest an increase in violence is due to gangs.” Rather, high school Principal Jason Meland reported differences are largely rooted in social media taunts outside of school hours. Superintendent Margaret Marotta also noted pupils involved tend to be freshmen and sophomores—particularly those who did not have a normal transition between middle and high school because of the pandemic. “Our kids are struggling mightily,” Marotta said.