A Year After Proposition 2 1/2 Tax Override Fails, Pentucket Seeks Public Input on School Spending

Groveland, West Newbury and Merrimac residents are invited to learn about Pentucket Regional School District’s spending plans being developed for the next school year. Superintendent Justin Bartholomew is scheduled to provide an overview of the current budget and the impact of a last year’s Proposition 2½ override on the current year. He will also will review the budget process and explain expected challenges in the 2023-2024 budget. “We encourage parents and anyone with an interest in education to attend and learn more,” Bartholomew said. “Community feedback is important as we develop a budget that meets both students’ needs and the educational vision of our communities.”

The joint meeting with the boards of selectmen and finance committees of Groveland, Merrimac, and West Newbury takes place tomorrow, Jan.

Whittier Tech Graduate Matos Says Early College Benefits Greater Than Just Tuition Savings

A 2022 graduate of Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School returned to the school over the last two weeks, offering testimonials on the benefits of the Early College program beyond tuition savings. Akira Matos, who studied Metal Fabrication at Whittier, addressed 12 classes of Early College students on Fridays, Jan. 6 and 13. She graduated last year with 18 college credits and is expected to graduate from Northern Essex Community College with her associate’s degree this fall. Matos, of Haverhill, reminded students those in Early College are considered Northern Essex students and may take advantage of many college resources, including academic coaching, mental health supports, attending athletic events and job search assistance.

Haverhill High, Northern Essex Community College Move Forward with STEM Tech Academy

Haverhill High School and Northern Essex Community College are moving ahead with a new STEM Tech Career Academy aimed at preparing students for careers in manufacturing, healthcare and environmental and life sciences. As WHAV reported first last month, students participating will earn between 18-24 college credits before graduating high school. They will then transition to Northern Essex, where they will finish their associate degrees. Haverhill High School Science and Technology Curriculum Director Kevin R. Higginbottom told School Committee members last week how the program came into being. “The STEM Tech Academy Grant came about as a result of the state recognizing a key need, which was that the current work force within a variety of STEM fields is just not large enough to fulfill the current and future needs of a variety of industries.

Haverhill High Football Season Plans Progressing Despite Rumors After Alleged Hazing Incidents

Haverhill High School’s football program resumes this year and all off-season preparations are underway as planned. Haverhill school Superintendent Margaret Marotta made the declaration last Thursday, attempting to tamp down rumors in the midst of hazing allegations and prosecutions stemming from incidents last fall. “One of those rumors is that we are not going to have a football team next year at Haverhill High School, and that rumor is totally unfounded. We recognize the importance of sports to our students and we are committed to having a football program moving forward,” she said. The superintendent said in the interim, all necessary off-season tasks such as equipment management, scheduling and conditioning programs, are being handled appropriately.

Attendance, Staffing, Program Expansion to Take Center Spots in Haverhill School Spending Priorities

With school budget season fast approaching, members of the Haverhill School Committee last Thursday presented some of its ideas on top issues requiring attention in the upcoming year. Committee member Gail M. Sullivan outlined her top priority, saying in order for education to be effective students first have to attend class. “The priority of mine is to improve attendance. I think that’s a complicated goal. In preparation to do that, we need a lot of information about how would we do it and what’s the budget implication of that,” she said.

Greater Lawrence Tech Senior and Class President is Nominee for U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

Greater Lawrence Technical Regional High School senior Edgar Martinez was recently selected to represent the Commonwealth as a Career and Technical Education nominee for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Greater Lawrence Tech Superintendent John Lavoie said, each year, the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program recognizes up to 161 of the country’s most exceptional students. The program was expanded to include and celebrate the accomplishments of students studying career and technical education in 2015. Martinez, of Lawrence, is a student in the Greater Lawrence Tech’s Dental Assisting program. “To me, this nomination is significant because it illustrates my hard work and dedication throughout my high school years,” said Martinez.

Haverhill Councilors Pressure Mayor to Detail Mental Health Program Specifics and Payments

The Haverhill City Council again asked Mayor James J. Fiorentini Tuesday night to come up with a strategy for addressing local mental health issues, including how payments will be made for services. Council Vice President John A. Michitson and Councilor Melissa J. Lewandowski placed the matter on the agenda. Lewandowski asked about the needs of Haverhill public school students, what school officials have already done to meet those needs and what new efforts, if any, are underway. In response, Haverhill School Physician Dr. John L. Maddox first addressed the issue of paying for necessary programs, telling councilors the money is available. “There appears to be about $3.7 million to invest.

Endicott College Presents Phoebe Potts Feb. 8 in ‘Too Fat For China’

The Tadler Center for Humanities at Endicott College welcomes acclaimed comic and storyteller Phoebe Potts Feb. 8 to present her one-woman show, “Too Fat For China,” a comedic look at the agony of adoption. “Too Fat For China” follows Potts as she tries, fails and eventually succeeds in adopting a baby. After a U.S. adoption goes horribly wrong, Potts finds herself surprised, disgusted and ultimately resigned to the role she plays as a middle-class white lady in the business of adopting babies in the U.S. and internationally. Potts’ tragicomic journey is about looking for more love, more life and more family, and she will do anything to get it, including having her morals and values fold in on themselves.