Bradford Elementary Staff, School Administration to Meet Monday to Begin Resolution of Faculty Complaints

A simmering dispute between the staff and leadership of Bradford Elementary School is bringing a fresh discussion of issues and a possible framework for dealing with future concerns. Haverhill School Superintendent Margaret Marotta is calling a Monday meeting of school staff and district leadership aimed at outlining “the school district’s plan to provide staff an opportunity to share their concerns about the school in a structured, confidential manner.” Marotta’s move comes after members of the Haverhill Education Association reported on the eve of February school vacation that 75% of school staff voted “no confidence” in Principal Louise Perry and Assistant Principal Nicole McGrain. “These concerns are being taken seriously,” said Marotta Friday in a statement. “It is disheartening to me that for five years the staff has had concerns and that this was the platform used to share the information with the current district leadership despite multiple avenues of communication specifically created to share issues that arise within our schools. Conversation and communication are our best avenues to resolve these situations.

Council Representation by Ward Emerges as Favorite by Attendees of Haverhill Fact-Finding Meeting

Haverhill residents turned out en masse last night for a Citizen’s Outreach forum, presented by the City Council to gather public input on possible changes to the city charter. The number one topic of discussion was a proposal by Mayor James J. Fiorentini to change the council to ward-based representation. Currently, all members of the City Council are elected on an at-large basis. The mayor says the current system leaves some members of the community under-represented. While not every person that spoke at the meeting agreed on the details of such a change, such as whether there should be two or four at-large councilors, but they were overwhelmingly in favor of having all seven of the city’s wards represented on the Council.

State Grant Puts Recruiter Inside Haverhill Manufacturers; Helps Haverhill Chamber Map Latino Firms

The $95,000 “Urban Agenda” grant handed out by Gov. Charlie Baker and reported by WHAV Wednesday is a first for Haverhill—paying a job recruiter right inside three local manufacturing firms.

About $80,000 of the grant pays for a pilot project to add a full-time business services representative/recruiter at three of the city’s largest manufacturers—Cedars Mediterranean Foods, Southwick Clothing and Joseph’s Frozen Foods, according to mayoral spokesman Shawn Regan. Money for the post would pass through to MassHire Career Center, formerly ValleyWorks. “This MassHire employee will provide direct employment connection for career center clients to entry level manufacturing positions at these companies, assisting with recruitment, screening, retention and support services for new hires,” he said. Another portion assists MakeIt Haverhill, the Mount Washington workforce training center operated by Keith Boucher. Regan noted the grant was written by Haverhill Community Development Director Andrew K. Herlihy.

Northern Essex Students, Durning, Glickman, Receive Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Awards

Two Northern Essex Community College students, Sarah Durning and Gwynnethe Glickman, received awards earlier this month from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival at Cape Cod Community College. Only 16 students made it to the final round of the competition of 288 from two- and four-year colleges and universities. “Having two finalists representing one school is unheard of and I am deeply proud of our students. “said Brianne Beatrice, theater professor. Durning is a general study, individualized option major from North Andover, and Glickman is a liberal arts major from Newbury.

Harvard University’s García-Peña Speaks at Northern Essex for International Women’s Day

Afro-Latino studies scholar, Dr. Lorgia García-Peña, is speaking in celebration of International Women’s Day Thursday, March 5, at Northern Essex Community College’s Lawrence campus as part of the White Fund Lecture series. Harvard University’s García-Peña discusses ways to teach more inclusively during a talk titled, “From Theory to Practice: Teaching for a More Just World.”

The lecture takes place in The Dr. Ibrahim El-Hefni Allied Health and Technology Center, 414 Common St., Lawrence, from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The talk is free and open to the public. Reflecting on her career as an ethnic studies scholar, García-Peña suggests ideas and methods for conducting research, teaching and learning in ways that promote inclusion. Her first book, “The Borders of Dominicanidad: Race, Nations and Archives of Contradictions,” won the 2017 National Women’s Studies Association Gloria E. Anzaldúa Book Prize, the 2016 LASA Latino/a Studies Book Award and the 2016 Isis Duarte Book Prize in Haiti and Dominican Studies. For more information, contact Analuz Garcia at [email protected]

Procopio Offers $1 Million for City-Owned, Ornsteen Land Near Bradford Rail; Plans 290 Apartments

Haverhill has chosen Procopio Companies of Lynnfield, to develop the former Ornsteen Heel property near the Bradford commuter rail station. Of three contenders to buy the city-owned land, Procopio originally proposed the most housing units—320 market rate apartments—and at one time offered the highest bid, $2 million. However, Mayor James J. Fiorentini said today the project was whittled down at the city’s request to 290 units and a payment of $1 million. “It is easily the best proposal,” Fiorentini told WHAV. He said the $2 million bid was never a realistic purchase price since the developer proposed the city buy back the park area for $1.5 million.

WHAV Investigates: Secret Haverhill DPW Report May be Unmasked with Naming of New Police Recruit

Haverhill is sending 13 new recruits to the police academy and one member of the class may have unwittingly played a role in the city’s refusal in the last year to turn over a secret report on an investigation into the Highway Department. For more than a year, WHAV’s investigative team mounted several challenges to gain release of an 83-page report detailing Haverhill Police’s 2018 investigation of the city’s Public Works Department. After being ordered by the state to turn an unredacted copy over to WHAV, the city won a reprieve last April. The city’s outside counsel, attorney Michelle E. Randazzo, claimed the report was needed to help the city defend itself against a discrimination case brought by a then-unnamed Highway Department employee. “While we believe that this complaint has no merit, we are obligated to defend it and will do so vigorously,” she said, adding the unnamed individual “directly implicates the matters addressed in the requested record.”

Timothy Campbell, one of the city’s new police recruits, told WHAV Wednesday he is dropping the complaint before the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination.

Haverhill Appeals Board Grants Approvals to Reuse St. Joseph’s School; Nonprofit to Use Gym

Neighbor and parishioner support played a role last night in advancing plans to build 36 market rate apartments at the former St. Joseph’s School, near Lafayette Square. Haverhill Board of Appeals members unanimously approved developer Jonathan Cody’s request for parking, lot size and open space variances. Cody said the St. Joseph name will be incorporated in the eventual name of the complex of 28 studios and eight one-bedroom apartments and an existing gymnasium leased to an unnamed local nonprofit.