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Peabody honors Revolutionary War
heroes at Patriots’ Day ceremony
By Melanie Higgins
little more than 242 years
ago, seven Peabody men
(then from South Danvers)
died defending their coun-
try from injustices. The city
honored these men for their
deeds at a solemn ceremo-
ny last Monday, held at the
War Memorial on the corner
of Sewall and Washington
Streets. Surrounded by lo-
cal dignitaries, including the
mayor, veterans, Reverend
Dr. Bert White and residents,
their present-day counter-
parts fired off shots from their
muskets to commemorate
the occasion. Nearby, veteran
commandant in the Marine
Corps Steve Coddens played
“Taps” from his bugle.
Ca l l ing the fa l len men
“saints,” Reverend White told
a narrative of the first few
days of the war and asked
attendees to reflect on the
“humiliation” and “inhuman
bloodshed”of those days. He
called attention to the fact
that many of the fallen were
“just boys” at 21 years old. He
then led a prayer.
“As I look at the names on
this statue, I think of the times
we are in today,”Peabody His-
torical Society President Rich-
ard St. Pierre, who helped or-
ganize the event, remarked
moments later. “We are liv-
ing in some pretty dangerous
times. These men who paid
the ultimate sacrifice were liv-
ing in dangerous times, too.
I like to think that the spirit
and the sacrifices they made
remind of us of the ideals we
have as Americans.”
“So many times our nation
is tested.” said Mayor Ted Bet-
tencourt, who paused to re-
flect on the occasion. “These
men who sacrificed for our
country, to build our country,
are something special.”
Samuel Cook, 33, Benjamin
Daland, 25, George South-
wick, 25, Jotham Webb, 22,
and Ebenezer Goldthwaite,
21, rested yards away. Ja-
cobs, 21, is buried at the Ja-
cobs Family Cemetery, while
the locations of Putnam, 21,
and Webb, 21, are unknown
– although they are believed
to lie in Danvers.
The group bravely descend-
ed on Lexington on April 19,
1775, to fight the British sol-
diers in a battle that would
set off the Revolutionary War
and eventually lead to Amer-
ican independence. Led by
Colonel Pickering, the seven
men were of an original 477
of local Boston-area troops
that fought the British that
day, which brought them
through Arlington (Menoto-
my), Lexington and Concord;
49 were killed in the battle,
with 39 wounded and 5 miss-
ing. The seven Danvers men
were killed in a particularly
violent skirmish at the Jason
Russell house in Menotomy,
when the British soldiers at-
tacked them with bayonets.
Last Monday, they were
represented by the Danvers
Alarm List, a modern day ad-
aptation of the actual “alarm
list” – a regiment serving as
the last line of defense, typ-
ically composed of elderly
men who remained in their
homes. Henry Rutkowski, Bill
Clemens, Dan Cripps, SkipWi-
ley, Jim Driscoll and Billy Cle-
mens represented the fallen
men, dressed in authentic
military uniform of the time
“It means everything,” said
veteran of the 2nd Corps Ca-
dets Ron Morneau of the cer-
emony. “[The revolutionary
war] was the beginning of
Peabody, MA
Your Hometown Newspaper!
Vol. 2, No. 16
Friday, April 21, 2017
Eye on the Ball…
Tanner co-captain Nick Palma lays down a bunt in Peabody’s
sixth inning action against Revere last Saturday. The Tanners
went on to blank the Revere Patriots 6-0 in the Northeastern
Conference game. See story and photo highlights inside on
page 8.
(Advocate photo by Gregg Phipps)
Reverend Dr. BertWhite led local dignitaries and veterans in a prayer beside the PeabodyWar
Memorial at the city’s annual Patriots’ Day ceremony Monday. White called the fallen men
“saints”andaskedattendees to reflect on the sacrifices of AmericanRevolutionaryWar soldiers.
School Committee to start from
scratch in superintendent search
By Melanie Higgins
for the Peabody School
Committee. After a months-
long search that yielded six
finalists, then two, then one,
the school board will have
to go through the process all
over again. In the meantime,
interim Superintendent Herb
Levine will pick up the slack
for another year.
It was nothing personal for
the committee members in
their decision to waive the
top slot to the E.J. Harrington
Elementary School Principal,
Debra Ruggiero. Ultimate-
ly, none of the candidates
that the Massachusetts As-
sociation of School Commit-
tees (MASC) chose were suf-
ficiently qualified for the po-
sition. The city hired MASC to
conduct interviews andparse
candidates who did not have
experience with collective
bargaining, and not one can-
didatehadexperience formu-
lating a budget beyond the
building or department lev-
el,” said Committee Member
Jarrod Hochman.
During the third interview
earlier this month, Ruggie-
ro, who is a Peabody resident,
attempted to persuade the
board otherwise. Committee
Ruggiero may not be able to
handle the $70 million bud-
get that the schools receive,
given that she is experienced
of one school. She explained
that including the senior lead-
ership teamwas helpful toher
making any decisions about
spending, and that they were
also informedby takingahard
look at data. “I don’t want to
make a decision just because
we thinkwe need something,”
she said. “I do have the drive
and passion.” She added, “I’m
reaching for the stars, andPea-
body is my star.”
John Oteri, another candi-
date, dropped out at the last
minute, opting to gowith the
superintendent position in
Malden. Oteri was formerly
the headmaster at Somerville
HighSchool andwas tiedwith
Ruggiero for the top position.
Another candidate, former
assistant superintendent in
Gloucester Arthur Unobskey,
left toassume the superinten-
dent post inWayland.
Lourenco Garcia, principal
of Revere High School, Laura
Chesson, the assistant super-
intendent in Arlington, Peter
Badalament, an educational
consultant and former princi-
pal of Concord-Carlisle High
School, did not make the cut.
Ultimately, the board felt it
was better for Levine, who is
an experienced administra-
tor and already has years un-
der the belt workingwithPea-
body, toremain intheposition.
The Peabody School Com-
mittee has a lot on its plate in
theupcomingyear, withover-
crowded schools, the Middle
School BuildingProject wrap-
pingup its final phase and the
city taking a hard look at re-
districting. The board has yet
to say when the search will