State Investigator Largely Backs City Over Haverhill Teachers’ Union in Strike Money Case

A state Department of Labor Relations investigator ruled largely in favor of the City of Haverhill Friday over issues surrounding last fall’s teachers’ strike. Investigator Carey D. Shockey dismissed all of the Haverhill Education Association’s charges of prohibited practices, including an allegation the Haverhill School Committee acted in bad faith when it continued to demand another $300,000 from the union to settle costs related to the Oct. 17 through 20 strike. The union argued Haverhill broke the law when it did not stand by a verbal agreement that “it would not seek additional monies from the union beyond the $200,000 the union agreed to pay…” Shockey ruled the union could not prove its claim. “In other words, almost immediately after (Haverhill Education Association President Tim) Briggs was allegedly assured that the School Committee would no longer seek any further monies, such a promise was immediately disclaimed.

Pentucket Panthers Host Hamilton-Wenham for Football When Stadium Opens Friday

Pentucket Regional School District opens its new stadium on Friday when the Pentucket Regional Middle-High School Panthers host Hamilton-Wenham for the first night football home game in school history. Superintendent Justin Bartholomew and Principal Brenda Erhardt invite the new stadium host the game at Friday, Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m. The stadium is part of the three-phase construction project replaced the district’s middle and high schools and reimagined the campus. The new field, built on the site of the former middle school, hosts football, soccer, lacrosse and field hockey games. “We are very excited to show off one of the crown jewels of our school buildings project,” Erhardt said.

Ryan Becomes Girls’ Basketball Varsity Head Coach at Haverhill High School

A seventh-grade instructor at Haverhill’s Caleb Dustin Hunking School was named girls’ basketball varsity head coach at Haverhill High School. Haverhill High School Athletic Director Thomas E. O’Brien announced the appointment of Doug Ryan on Thursday. Ryan brings more than a decade of basketball coaching experience to the Hillie program. He has served as the boys’ varsity assistant coach at Methuen High School for the past seven years. O’Brien said Ryan was also “a key part of the staff that helped lead the team to back-to-back conference titles the last two years.”

Ryan has worked as a math teacher for Haverhill Public Schools since 2017.

Northern Essex Community College Offers Info Session at Haverhill Public Library

Northern Essex Community College is having an information session for the public next week at the Haverhill Public Library. Brianna Cataldo, recruitment counselor at the college, discusses the different programs offered by Northern Essex Community College. The program takes place Wednesday, Sept. 6, from 4 to 5 p.m., at the Haverhill Public Library Johnson Auditorium, 99 Main St., Haverhill. Those who wish more information or to register may visit and look under Calendar of Events.

New Haverhill Stadium Concession Area, Provided by Volunteers and Donors, Wins Praise

A new concession stand at Haverhill Stadium is about ready for its formal debut after a group effort brought the project to the finish line. William Bourque, a long-time supporter of local sports and the man spearheading the project, told the Haverhill School Committee Thursday how he came to be involved. “At all of the stadiums I’ve ever coached at for 40-something years, I’ve never seen a stadium that didn’t even have a working concession stand, and being a former player and a life-long resident of Haverhill, I just thought that maybe we could do something and make something better for the kids, the fans and make a better atmosphere for everybody,” he explained. Bourque said he met with the Haverhill Building Department, presented his idea and, following an inspection of the proposed area, decided the project was doable. From there, Bourque contacted various contractors and others who made donations and contribute parts and labor at no cost.

Groveland’s Bagnall School Names Additions of Leadership, Teachers and Staff

Groveland’s Dr. Elmer S. Bagnall Elementary School is welcoming new leadership, teachers and other staff as the new school year commences. Jennifer Barreto becomes Bagnall’s new assistant principal, while Caitlin Guilfoil, who has been Bagnall’s special education coordinator for four years, expands her role as an official administrator, according to Pentucket Regional School District Superintendent Justin Bartholomew and Principal Jim Day. “They each bring a wealth of knowledge and passion to Bagnall School, and I am confident they will be valuable assets within our district,” Bartholomew said of the new additions and roles. Five new teachers at Bagnall School are Hannah Gohr, kindergarten; Madi Codair, fourth grade; Korri Finn, sixth grade; Laurel Chabib, life skills; and Camille Torres, Therapeutic Intervention Program for grades three to six. Four additional staff hired are Library and Media staff member Lisa Pitella and paraprofessionals Oliver Bucco, Molly Casey and Nicole Freeman.

As Federal Aid Ends, Haverhill School Budget Shortfalls on the Horizon This Year and Next

With the combination of next year’s end of the federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief program and ongoing negotiations over salary increases for school personnel, the Haverhill School Committee and school administrators are taking a hard look at financing the school year. At last Thursday’s committee meeting, Assistant School Superintendent Michael J. Pfifferling addressed those still unsettled contracts. “Currently, we have six unsettled contracts. That’s the administrators, the ESPs, the maintenance department, the non-unit therapists, the clerical group and the transportation group. We’re in negotiations with five of those six right now.

U.S. Rep. Trahan, Local and State Officials to Celebrate Federal Help for Reuse of Former CREST School

Congresswoman Lori Trahan is expected to join Methuen officials this afternoon to celebrate receipt of $8.4 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act money and $2.9 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund money for a new Methuen pre-kindergarten school. Trahan is expected to be joined by Methuen Mayor Neil Perry, schools Superintendent Brandi Kwong, state legislators, city councilors and School Committee members. Officials said the federal aid supports the purchase and upgrade of the former CREST Collaborative school at 9 Branch St. in Methuen for use as an elementary and early education school. They said the addition will reduce student class sizes across the city.