Student Hillies Create Voter Registration Campaign, Advocate for Local Participation

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In advance of the March 5 presidential primary, students from Haverhill High School put together a voter awareness campaign—recording videos with HC Media, helping their peers register, and distributing information through the school’s website and social media. The goal was to not only increase turnout for the national primary, but encourage voting on the state and local levels, according to Shaun Ashworth, the teacher whose AP U.S. Government and Politics class created the campaign. He added that the effort came out of the city clerk’s office requesting he help get young people registered. “Local elections, local politics and local matters have the biggest impact on our lives, but the turnout, out of all three levels, local, state and federal, the local turnout is awful,” Ashworth said. David Martinez, a junior who wrote most of the video scripts, said he enjoys the class, finding particularly valuable its emphasis on local politics, which he had not thought much about before.

Third Annual Digital Equity Challenge to Award $10,000 in Search for Internet Access Solutions

An estimated one in five Essex County residents lacks access to internet service and computers, along with an understanding of how to use digital devices. Aiming to solve this disparity, the third annual Digital Equity Challenge invites individuals with ideas that address these issues to enter the annual pitch contest, which will award $10,000 in cash prizes to the most promising solutions. Essex County Community Foundation Director of Strategic Initiatives Kate Machet says there is more work to do. “We look forward to hearing from this year’s contestants about their visions for increasing access to the digital resources needed to navigate life today.”

Individuals of all ages, including college and high school students, along with business and nonprofit professionals, may apply online by Friday, March 29 to participate. Six finalists, to be announced in April, will be invited to pitch their ideas May 2 at the UMass Lowell Innovation Hub in Haverhill.

Pentucket Regional School District Plans Annual Music Virtual Recital Feb. 27

Pentucket Regional School District’s annual Pentucket Music Virtual Recital takes place online next week. Performances from Pentucket Regional Middle and High School Band, choir, orchestra, percussion and jazz students with a special appearance from the Pentucket Regional Middle and High School Faculty Rock Band. The virtual recital takes place Tuesday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m., on the Pentucket Music YouTube channel @pentucketbands. The show will also remain available on the YouTube channel.

Glenn Says Early College Delivers for Haverhill High Students; Whittier Tech Grad Explains How it Helped

As a program at Haverhill High School that makes college classes available has come under scrutiny in recent weeks, early college defenders say it is still delivering on its original promise to encourage students who may not have thought college was right for them. Last month, as WHAV reported, student council members told the Haverhill School Committee those who would benefit the most are not gaining access. Haverhill High partners with Northern Essex Community College. In their telling, high-achieving kids flooding the program have disrupted its goal to assist students who do not believe they can get into, afford, or thrive in college. Moreover, they said the schools the high-achievers want to attend do not accept early college credits.

Education Commissioner Riley to Step Down, Gave Preview of ‘Deeper Learning’ in 2018 HHS Visit

Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Jeffrey C. Riley, well known in the valley for his supervision of Lawrence Public Schools and later influence on all area school districts, plans to step down next month after more than six years as commissioner. Since 2018, Riley led the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education with significant influence over expanding Early College, standardized testing, absenteeism policy and masking and student attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Riley’s plans were announced Thursday. “We’re grateful for Commissioner Riley’s leadership to make sure Massachusetts continues to have the greatest schools in the country and to support our incredible students and educators every step of the way, particularly through the challenging years of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Gov. Maura Healey. Riley served as superintendent/receiver of the Lawrence Public Schools.

Haverhill Schools Face Deficit Transporting Unhoused Students, Smaller Bump in State Aid Next Year

Haverhill Public Schools is expecting to pay over $1 million to transport unhoused students to and from school, as required by federal law, through June of this year. Some students move to nearby communities—to stay with relatives or in shelters—because their families lost their homes. They still need to go to school, Assistant Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling told the School Committee last week, and school districts are responsible for getting them there. He added the same effort cost only $547,000 last year. In addition, committee Vice Chairperson Paul A. Magliocchetti said that less state funding came in than anticipated.

Haverhill Students to Take White Ribbon Pledge Tonight Against Gender-Based Violence

Haverhill students plan to take a half-time pledge tonight against gender-based violence. The White Ribbon Kick Off Night is sponsored by the YWCA and Haverhill Public Schools Wellness Department, and takes place tonight, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m., during the Boys’ Varsity Basketball game vs. Beverly, at Haverhill High School gymnasium, 137 Monument St. White Ribbon Day started in 1991 when a handful of men decided to take action on the second anniversary of one man’s massacre of 14 women in Montreal.

Area High School Seniors May Apply for $1,000 Robert Gablosky Memorial Art Scholarship

Graduating high school seniors who plan to continue their education in the arts may be eligible to receive the $1,000 Robert Gablosky Memorial Art Scholarship. It is open to public, private and home-schooled seniors from within the districts of Haverhill, Methuen, North Andover, Masconomet, Pentucket and Timberlane. The scholarship is named for late Haverhill Gazette staff writer Robert J. Gablosky, who also founded the Greater Haverhill Arts Association in 1971. Gablosky died in 2017 at age 88. The Greater Haverhill Arts Association administers the scholarship on behalf of the Gablosky family.