North Andover and Lawrence Students Among Statewide Green Team Winners

Students from North Andover and Lawrence were among the award winners for outstanding environmental actions as members of the Green Team, a statewide environmental education program. State environmental officials Wednesday recognized students from 48 schools across Massachusetts participating in the program sponsored by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and the state Department of Environmental Protection. Classes receiving prizes were North Andover’s Annie L. Sargent Elementary School, teacher Julie Ambrose; Atkinson Elementary School, teacher Mandi Imasogie; Franklin Elementary School, teachers Rochelle Hardenstine and Hilary Alden; Kittredge Elementary School, teacher Cheryl Means; North Andover Middle School, teacher Erien Gordon; and Pvt. Albert E. Thomson Elementary School, teacher Lucy Frey. In Lawrence, winners were Lawrence Family Development Charter School, teacher George Masterson; Robert Frost Middle School, teacher Paul Flanigan

Students won such prizes as reusable snack bags, straws and utensils; certificates for garden supplies; or paper bookmarks with seeds embedded for planting.

Students Test the Waters During Whittier Tech’s Eight-Week Exploration of Trades Programs

Five students, including four from Haverhill High and one from Triton Regional High School, recently completed an eight-week exploration of trades programs offered by Whittier regional Vocational technical High School. Superintendent Maureen Lynch said the successful program is geared to high school seniors from sending communities. Haverhill High School seniors Braxton Caswell, Yomar Alicea, Andy Gomez and Jaden Capeles and Triton High School senior Elliot Johnson, of Rowley, completed the program last Friday, received certificates of completion and were treated to a celebratory breakfast. “Our programs offer students a unique experience where they can explore technical programs centered around careers that interest them. Our exploratory program gives non-vocational school students the opportunity to explore those interests further through hands-on and interactive learning,” Lynch said.

Merrimack River Watershed Council Presents Four Curated Merrimack River Tours

Merrimack River Watershed Council is offering four river cruises this summer exploring the wildlife, history, landmarks and lesser-known eddies and forgotten places of the lower Merrimack River. Each of the tours—one Tuesday a month—motors through a different section of the river, guided by local experts who will educate and entertain with stories, information and insight meant to broaden knowledge and appreciation of the Merrimack. Passengers are also expected to be surprised with sightings of fish and fowl that inhabit the river. An “Islands and Villages Tour” takes place June 13 with a cruise up river from Newburyport to Rocks Village in Haverhill. Local historian and author Dyke Hendrickson shares stories and points of interest along the voyage.

Merrimack College Study Says Most Teachers Don’t Recommend Job; Mental Health Support Would Help

A newly released study by Merrimack College shows only 46% of current public educators would be “fairly” or “very likely” to advise their younger selves to choose teaching again and more than a 35% are considering leaving the profession altogether. Authors say the 2023 Merrimack College Teacher Survey, which was conducted by the Winston School of Education and Social Policy at Merrimack College, shines a spotlight on a pressing crisis facing American education. “While this should serve as a flashing red light to educational policymakers, the survey also provides insights into strategies that educational administrators and policymakers can employ to address this,” said Dean Deborah Margolis. “By prioritizing teacher mental health and wellbeing, and taking steps to build teacher morale, academic leaders can help create a healthier and happier school environment and retain more of their teachers.”

While the survey, conducted in partnership with the nonprofit, nonpartisan EdWeek Research Center, paints a dark picture overall for American public K-12 education, it reports there are areas that have seen notable improvements since last year. The percentage of teachers who are very satisfied with their jobs has nearly doubled to 20%, and the percentage of teachers considering leaving the profession within the next two years has dropped from 44% to 35%.

Methuen Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing $452,000 in Federal Aid, Buying Cell Phones to Hide Source

A 27-year-old Methuen man pleaded guilty last Thursday in federal court in Boston to using stolen identities to fraudulently obtain more than $452,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds from the Small Business Administration and to disguise the source of the money. Ramon Joseph Cruz Jr. pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and four counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting. U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns scheduled sentencing for Aug. 20. Cruz was arrested and charged in December 2020 along with alleged co- accomplice Darwyn Joseph.

Greater Lawrence Tech To Grow School Library with Grant From the Laura Bush Foundation

Greater Lawrence Technical School is the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries. Superintendent John Lavoie said Greater Lawrence Tech was one of 300 schools across 36 states that was awarded funding. The grant will be used to pay for a new collection of books and library materials for the school’s library department. “I would like to thank Laura Bush and the Foundation for awarding us with this funding,” said Lavoie. “This funding will help us to add and improve our current collection of library books.

Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce Annual Small Business Recognition Awards Program June 9

More than two dozen local businesses and organizations are set to be honored when the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce conducts its Annual Small Business Recognition Awards Program early next month. As he has previously, Robert Nelson, Massachusetts director of the U.S. Small Business Administration, is expected to address recipients and guests Friday, June 9, from 7:30-9 a.m., at Renaissance Golf and Country Club, 377 Kenoza St., Haverhill. Singled out for their “Perseverance,” despite the economy, pandemic and other setbacks over the years, are Maria’s Restaurant and Veterans Northeast Outreach Center, both of Haverhill. Other award categories and winners are Business Assistance, Better Business Bureau and Score; Hospitality & Tourism, Benson’s Ice Cream and Lawrence History Center; Discovery/Education, Clarendon Early Education Services and Clark School; Environmental, Groundwork Lawrence and Nexamp; Healthcare, Cedardale Health & Fitness and Home Instead; Innovative, MeVa Transit and Professional Center For Child Development; Longevity, Paper Potpourri and Rumbo; Manufacturing/R&D, Joseph’s Bakery and Seica; Arts & Culture, Addison Gallery Of American Art and North Andover Historical Society; Diversity Owned, Peachbox and Nandi Security; Non-Profit/Community Service Bethany Community Services and Planet Aid; Media, BC Media Productions and WHAV;  Retail, Doyon’s Appliance and Smolak Farms; Service, American Training and Distinctive Window Coverings; Veteran-Owned, Adam Hogue of Northern Peak Financial and Kevin Dennehy of Global Tech. Communications; Wholesale Induspad and Planted Donuts; Women In Business, Stephanie Vanderbilt of Coastal Windows & Exteriors and Sheila Doherty of Doherty Insurance Agency; Special Salute to Family-Owned Businesses, A&M Auto Body, Silverio Insurance Agency, Sonny Valley and the Tomacchio Family.

Markey Plans Greater Lawrence Family Health Center Stop in Push for ‘Green New Deal for Health’

U.S. Sen. Edward J. Markey is expected to make a Wednesday visit to Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, which operates primary care clinics in Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen. The visit is one of three stops this week to celebrate federal grants for community projects, meet with environmental and health justice advocates and address New England business leaders on, what he called, the “urgent need to address the climate crisis.”

Markey is scheduled to “celebrate the introduction of Green New Deal for Health and underscore the need for new, transformational climate and health investments in Massachusetts’ systems of care” Wednesday afternoon, at Greater Lawrence Family Health Center’s north site at 150 Park St., Lawrence. His office said the senator will stress the need to secure major new investments in health care by passing the Green New Deal for Health. Markey begins the week with a stop in Pittsfield today to celebrate newly-awarded federal funding for the Berkshire Family YMCA, which will be used to help make the building greener and provide more access to recreation and quality, affordable child care. Tomorrow, he will be at the New England Aquarium to deliver the keynote address at the New England Council’s meeting on the economic impact of climate change on the region’s economy.