NAMM Names Pentucket Regional School District One of Best Communities for Music Education

The Pentucket Regional School District was recently recognized by the NAMM Foundation as part of the Best Communities for Music Education list for the fourth consecutive year. Superintendent Justin Bartholomew and Fine & Performing Arts Department Chair David Schumacher said the district is one of 23 schools across Massachusetts to receive the honor of being included on the list. Now in its 25th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts nationwide that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students. “Applying for this designation was a massive undertaking involving the coordination of K-12 music faculty, all our district principals and the Pentucket Music Boosters,” Schumacher said. Bartholomew added, “Our students are so passionate about music and the arts, and because of strong community support we are able to provide them with an outstanding music education program.”

The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works to advance active participation in music-making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.

As Reported Last Fall, Haverhill Considers Merging Tilton and JG Whittier Schools in State Application

Haverhill is making formal its plans, first reported by WHAV in December, to consider merging the John Greenleaf Whittier and John C. Tilton Schools. The Haverhill School Committee last night voted at a special meeting to authorize Superintendent Margaret Marotta to submit a statement of interest to the Massachusetts School Building Authority. The expected formality is the first required step toward having the 456-student Tilton elementary school considered. As WHAV reported, the John Greenleaf Whittier was already invited into a state eligibility period that involves a feasibility study and later steps to determine formally whether the school should be renovated or replaced and the amount of state reimbursement. Haverhill School Committee member Richard J. Rosa told WHAV last fall he met with members of the School Building Authority during an Oct.

Gov. Healey Stops in at North Andover High School as Part of National Robotics Week

Besides her visit to Amazon’s new distribution facility Monday, Gov. Maura T. Healey visited North Andover High School as part of National Robotics Week. The governor met with the high school robotics club and congratulated them ahead of the Vex Robotics World Championships, which they will compete in later this month. She saw their robotics projects and presented a proclamation for National Robotics Week. Healey also visited MassRobotics, described as the largest independent robotics hub dedicated to accelerating innovation and adoption in the field of robotics. “Massachusetts is proud to be home to one of the lead robotics hubs in the world, and it’s essential that we continue to lengthen this lead through targeted investments like the Mass Leads Act,” said Healey.

With Healey Blessing, Whittier Tech Explores New Building, Shared Campus with Northern Essex

If tentative steps toward a “shared campus” with Northern Essex Community College continue, a new building may be on the horizon of Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School. The high school and college will “explore ways to create a new, modern facility for Whittier Tech, … increase enrollment capacity at both institutions and make them more affordable. It will also open up new avenues for potential additional funding sources beyond cities and towns in the Merrimack Valley,” according to a press release issued Thursday by Gov. Maura T. Healey’s office. Northern Essex President Lane A. Glenn said the plan would increase collaboration already happening between the two schools, with Whittier Tech Superintendent Maureen Lynch praising the endeavor. To find a path forward, a representative of the governor’s office told WHAV, “we intend to convene legislators and municipal officials” from the 11 communities that send students to Whittier Tech.

Today is Northern Essex Community College’s Giving Day; Third Annual Event Ends at Midnight

Today’s the day to join alumni, friends, staff, faculty and students supporting Northern Essex Community College’s third annual Giving Day. The college kicked off the 24-hoiur drive yesterday at G’s Southern Texas Flair in downtown Haverhill. Like all Giving Day donations, portion of food and drink sales went to the NECC Fund. Gifts to the fund are unrestricted and may be immediately put to use to pay for resources and programs crucial to the success of students, faculty and staff. Historically, the NECC Fund has offered support to such areas as student scholarships, innovation, academic programming, career programming and classroom resources.

ESPs Decry Working Conditions and Low Pay; School Com’s Rosa Calls Recent Bargaining Productive

(Additional photograph below.)

During a panel put on by the Haverhill Education Association last night, Education Support Professionals—or ESPs—said they do not earn enough money to get by, despite working what they called exhausting and chaotic jobs to support the district’s neediest children. After the panelists finished, ESPs in the audience shared stories. “With upwards of 15 kids in a classroom—three and four years old, not potty trained—could you imagine 15 children needing to go to the bathroom 15 different times and you have two people in the room? Your bathroom is in the basement and you are on the third floor,” said Jennifer Ashley, an ESP at Moody Preschool Extension. Parents, educators and a few elected officials filled the AmVets Post 147.

‘You Feel Like, Now You’re Representing a Whole Group:’ Haverhill School Board’s Collins

Recently elected Haverhill School Committee Member Yonnie Collins, the first Black person to join the group, said she has felt welcomed by her colleagues. Member Gail M. Sullivan brought cookies once, and she talked through the expectations of the role with members Richard J. Rosa and Paul A. Magliocchetti while still campaigning. After being sworn in three months ago, she said her particular position can be a lot of pressure. “I’m not just the first Black woman, but I’m the first Black person ever to serve on the Haverhill School Committee. At times, that can be intimidating, and I think, a lot of minorities, when they’re in a space of power, you feel like you’re not just representing yourself, you’re not just representing your family, but now you’re representing a whole group of people,” she said.

Updated: Haverhill School Committee Narrows Whittier Tech Pick, But Finalist Withdraws Over Change

Haverhill School Committee members moved last night to narrow its choices to fill one of two seats on Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School, but one of the candidates this morning chose to withdraw, citing in part the abrupt and unannounced change in the selection process. School Committee members decided Jeff LeBlanc and incumbent Richard P. Early Jr. would go before the Haverhill School Committee at its next meeting even though the Committee originally described an “anticipated selection date” of March 28. In an email to Mayor Melinda E. Barrett, Vice Chair Paul A. Magliocchetti and member Richard J. Rosa, LeBlanc said “I assure you if I had known of the multi week process beforehand I would not have submitted my materials.”

“Regrettably, I was unaware that this was a multi-week process. While I completely understand the necessity of this form of candidate vetting, I unfortunately must make a hard decision regarding my future time. I must alert my chair of my decision on whether to teach an exciting new course this fall, which will meet during evening hours.