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  • Malden High graduates 446 at Macdonald Stadium

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00
  • Residents in favor of RCN coming to city

    Friday, August 25, 2017 08:53
  • Sergio Cornelio unanimously appointed City Clerk

    Saturday, August 05, 2017 09:22
  • DeRuosi’s Report Card

    Friday, August 04, 2017 10:24
  • Help choose the next Malden Reads 2018 book selection!

    Friday, June 09, 2017 00:00

News

THE SOUNDS OF SAUGUS

Here are a few tidbits that you might want to know about this week in Saugus.

Town Election 2017 season underway for candidates

With nomination papers becoming available last week at the Town Clerk’s Office, this year’s town election season has officially opened. And, as of this week, more than a dozen potential candidates came to Town Hall to pull papers. They included the following:

For the Board of Selectmen: Corinne Riley and Michael Collier – two challengers who announced their intention to run weeks ago, submitting announcements to this paper – and Selectman Jennifer D’Eon, who has indicated she will seek a second two-year term. Assunta Palombo, a local real estate agent, also pulled nomination papers.

For the School Committee: School Committee Chair Jeannie Meredith and School Committee Members Elizabeth Marchese (who announced last week she’s a candidate for the vacant Athletic Director’s job) and Linda Gaieski. Judy Worthley is a potential challenger who also pulled papers.

For the Town Meeting Members: three potential newcomers – Keith McCabe, William Marchand and George Falardeau. “Only some of the TMM Incumbents have submitted re-running papers,” Town Clerk Ellen Schena noted.

The Board of Selectmen and the School Committee will each have five seats to be considered. Voters will also elect 50 Town Meeting members – five in each precinct – in the Nov. 7 election.

While the names of people with candidate’s papers is of interest to a lot of folks, it really doesn’t mean much until people get the required signatures and return the papers to the town clerk. And they have until Sept. 19 to do that – and that’s a long way off.

Fifty certified signatures of registered voters are required for candidates for the Board of Selectmen, School Committee and the Housing Authority. New candidates for Town Meeting must obtain 10 certified signatures of registered voters – all from within the candidate’s precinct. Incumbents just have to send in a letter indicating they are running again.

All candidates for public office are expected to comply with the Town of Saugus Zoning Bylaws (Article 7, Section 7.3, Sub-Section 8) regarding political signs, according to an Election Calendar prepared by the Town Clerk’s Office.

Here are the important dates:

Sept. 12 at 5 p.m. Last day for incumbent Town Meeting members wishing to become a candidate for reelection to submit written notice to the Town Clerk.

Sept. 15 at 5 p.m. Last day to obtain nomination papers from the Town Clerk’s Office.

Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. Last day for candidates to submit nomination papers to the Board of Registrars (Town Clerk’s Office) for certification of signatures.

Oct. 5 at 5 p.m. Last day to file objections or withdrawals.

Oct. 5 at 5:30 p.m. Drawing of ballot positions (second floor auditorium at Town Hall)

Oct. 18 from 8:15 a.m. to 8 p.m. Last day to register to vote.

Oct. 24 Office of Campaign Finance Reports are due.

Dec. 7 Office of Campaign Finance Reports are due.

Candidates’ views are welcome

We’ve already had two potential challengers surface in the selectmen’s race in recent months. And we’ve run their statements as a courtesy. Speaking of a willingness to talk about the issues, we’re going to hear a lot more from potential candidates as the summer moves on.

The Saugus Advocate welcomes campaign announcements from candidates seeking public office in the fall elections. Email me a letter stating your interest and qualifications for the position you are seeking, and we’ll be glad to publish it along with a photo.

It should be interesting to see whether the overwhelming support by voters on the school building project will give incumbents on the Board of Selectmen and the School Committee a tide to ride right into the November general election. Stay tuned.

Gone, but still appreciated

It’s been a couple of weeks since Susan Dunn worked her last day at Town Hall, capping a 22-year career working under four town managers and several acting and temporary town managers. But one-page flyers bearing a photograph of the retired town chief administrative aide were still visible on desktops this week at Town Hall. There was even a short poem included: What Can You Say About Sue: Thoughtful, Helpful, Knowledgeable, Funny, Kind (Just to name a few).

“SUE WILL BE SO VERY MISSED …” begins one long paragraph of compliments. “Town Hall won’t feel the same without her … She has most all the answers to the unusual questions. She has it all under control. Who will hang all the holiday decorations (Who even knows where they are hidden??), make sure the wall colors are to par (or what they even are??) and that no-one (and I do mean no-one) puts tape on the walls … Sue has been here through the crazy and the calm. She is the essence of Town Hall and all its greatness and wisdom. She has an ease about her that comes so naturally … Although she will be missed, we do wish her well in the next chapter of her life story … Go get ’em Sue. You’ve earned it … (Anyway we know where you live …”

A special tribute for a special Saugus town employee who – in the eyes of many Town Hall employees – is the glue that held the hub of town government together for more than two decades.

We both have an Albany connection

Believe it or not, I discovered another connection to a Saugonian I never knew before I took over as editor of The Saugus Advocate 17 months ago. In interviewing Paul E. Kenworthy – the subject for last week’s “The Advocate Asks” – I learned we were both in Albany, N.Y., at about the same time, in 1979, and might have lived within walking distance of each other.

Ranger Paul, of the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, was finishing his Master of Business Administration at the State University of New York at Albany. Meanwhile, I was working out of the statehouse bureau for the Albany Times Union newspaper, covering legislative and government stories. My editor was Harry Rosenfeld, who was one of the editors who worked over Woodward and Bernstein at The Washington Post. In those days, I was paying $115 a month for a brownstone apartment within walking distance to the State Library. And those days, the $280 a week I was making seem like great pay. Of course, the dollar could buy you a lot more in 1979.

I didn’t have to worry about getting in a car and driving after having a few drinks, because a watering hole called the Bleecker – where the lawmakers used to congregate to discuss legislation over booze – was within walking distance, too. So, Ranger Paul probably hit a lot of the restaurants and joints that I did.

Yeah, when these connections pop up, it makes you realize what a small world it is.

Tap, Tap, Bang, Bang! Fun at the Iron Works

Speaking of the Saugus Iron Works, there’s a special presentation by Emma Garcia coming up on Tuesday, Aug. 15 from 10 to 11 a.m. This is the latest of the Preschoolers in the Park program, in which park rangers at Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site entertain toddlers and preschoolers from ages two to six.

This month’s program: Discover what kinds of tools were used and made at the Iron Works. See a water wheel in action as it powers one of the site’s largest tools – the bellows. Then, use clay-modeling tools to make your own “iron” creations to take home. Bring your favorite adult and learn something neat. No reservations required. Meet at the Saugus Iron Works Visitor Center at 244 Central St. in Saugus.

Tuesday is Farmer’s Market Day

The Annual Saugus Farmer’s Market has returned for another season. The market will operate every Tuesday until October – from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. – in the Anna Parker Playground parking lot at 120 Essex St. The market offers vegetables, fruits, fresh fish, baked goods and other good stuff.

Coming attractions at Saugus Public Library.

Speaking of the library, here a few things coming up:

Build a Better World Egg Drop Competition

Thursday, Aug. 10 at 3:30 p.m. Can you and your team make a “Build a Better World” –themed contraption that when dropped from a considerable height will not break the raw egg put inside? We’ll drop your contraption from the top front windows of the library at 295 Central St. Winners will enter into a drawing to win a special prize.

Want to see a real kangaroo?

Friday, Aug. 11 from 1 to 2 p.m. If you would love to make the acquaintance of a kangaroo, put this date on your calendar. Come see Nature Nick and his Exotic Animal Show. I’m told he will introduce the kids and adults who show up to some of the strangest animals on earth while also sharing little-known facts about each one. Learn how every animal in nature plays a role which helps to build a better world. For more details, contact Amy Melton at 781-231-4168, extension 14 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Do you believe in magic?

Wednesday, Aug. 16 from 3 to 4 p.m. Come see the Scott Jameson Magic Show. Watch umbrellas plucked from thin air, a drawing come to life, basketballs spun and juggled and the audience – including curious you – travel through time. Amy Melton says this will be a great show that you don’t want to miss – if you love magic acts.

Tend the Children’s Garden with Youth and Nature!

Every Tuesday, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Healthy Lifestyle

Fitness & Nutritional Meal Design will be presented by Don Doward at the library on Thursday, August 17, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. Don is a Lifestyle Design Consultant, Culinary Consultant, Chef, Master of Fitness Design, and Master of Fitness Sciences with 20 years in the fitness industry to go along with his restaurant experience. He uses this expertise to craft programs that will create a profound life change. Don was also a chef at Hilltop Steakhouse for 36 years. This free program is sponsored by the New Friends of the Saugus Public Library.

Buy a brick to honor vets

The Saugus War Monument Committee is sponsoring the “Buy a Brick” program to honor all those who have served their country. If you would like to purchase one in the name of someone who is presently serving or has served, in the memory of a loved one, or just from your family, school, etc., the general pricing is $100 for a 4” x 8” brick (three lines), $200 for 8” x 8” brick (five lines), and $500 (five lines) for a corporate brick. Each line is a maximum of 15 characters.

The improvement and upkeep of the monument on the corner of Winter and Central Streets relies on the generosity of donors through fundraising.

The brick application must be in by August 15 to assure the bricks will be ready for Veteran’s Day. Please contact Corinne Riley at 781-231-7995 for any information and applications.

Summer Pre-K and Elementary Registration

When: There are two dates coming up: Tuesday, August 8; Tuesday, August 15.

Where: 23 Main St., Roby Building, downstairs School Committee Room.

What to bring: child’s birth certificate (official copy), recent physical exam with immunization records, proof of residency (utility bill, mortgage or lease agreement); picture ID of parent/guardian (passport or driver’s license).

Registration packets with additional documents that will need to be completed will be provided at the registration site.

2017 Salem Maritime Festival – “Maritime 101”

Friday, August 4 from 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.

Saturday, August 5 from 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.

Sunday, August 6 from 12:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.

The 2017 Salem Maritime Festival, a celebration of “Maritime 101,” will be held Friday, August 4 through Sunday, August 6, and hosted by the National Park Service on the historic wharves and in the yards of the historic buildings at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. In its 29th year, the three-day Salem Maritime Festival offers an exciting array of free fun for everyone, including live music, harbor cruises, craft demonstrations, reenactors, storytelling, visiting vessels, fish-painting, kite-flying, radio-controlled boats and much more!

Historical happenings on Round Hill

The Saugus Historical Commission has set out an informative pamphlet at Town Hall, reporting the progress of the Round Hill Historical Site, which sits behind the Public Safety Building on Hamilton Street.

A formal dedication of the site is expected in September. The ceremony will include burial of the time capsule created during the 2015 anniversary celebration.

The brochure describes Round Hill as “Part of a highly significant Native American Cluster,” noting that Native Americans gathered stone from the ledge of jasper at the foot of Round Hill for tools.

“As we near the realization of this collaboration with a variety of individuals and groups, we look forward to a site where the general public will be able to visit, attend events and share in the proud history of Round Hill,” the brochure notes.

“The area’s extensive history, culture and natural resources will be preserved for future generations. The results of this partnership will be an amazing picture of our past being created in-situ through the preservation of the Round Hill Historic Site,” it continues.

Anyone can become “A Friend of Round Hill” by making a donation to the Saugus Historical Commission ℅ Round Hill Project, 298 Central St., Saugus, MA 01906.

Let’s hear it!

Got an idea, passing thought or gripe you would like to share with The Saugus Advocate? I’m always interested in your feedback. It’s been 17 months since I began work at The Saugus Advocate. I’m always interested in hearing readers’ suggestions for possible stories or good candidates for “The Advocate Asks” interview of the week. Feel free to email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 By Mark Vogler

 

An interview with Saugus Public Schools’ new Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services

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Editor’s Note: For this week’s interview, we sat down with Dawn E. Trainor, who last Friday officially became the new Executive Director of Pupil Personnel Services for Saugus Public Schools. Trainor, a 1985 Saugus High School graduate who was also president of her class, replaces Lisa Howard, who resigned to accept the position of interim superintendent of Winthrop Public Schools. Formerly, Trainor was Interim Assistant Principal at Saugus High School.

Trainor, who has lived in town all of her life, married another Saugonian – Thomas Trainor – a member of the Saugus High School Class of 1984. He is park supervisor at Camp Nihan, which is run by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. They have raised three children – all graduated from Saugus High – Jack (2017), Thomas (2013) and Taylor Ann (2012). Dawn Trainor received her Bachelor of Science degree in Sports Management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst in 2006. She received her Master of Education degree in Special Education (2013) from Salem State University in Salem, Mass.

Trainor began her education career in 2004 as a paraprofessional at Saugus High, assisting classroom teachers with instruction to students with disabilities, in inclusion and life skills classroom settings. Inspired by the job, she returned to college to complete her bachelor’s degree that had been interrupted when she decided to have children. After receiving her bachelor’s degree, she worked five years as a special education teacher at Saugus High. She then worked five years as the Special Education Department Team Leader at Saugus High. She also assumed the positions of Extended School Year Director (2014-16) and MCAS Administrator – After School Program (2015-16). Over the past decade, she has been involved with special education in various roles in the district.

Her school leadership involvement includes participation on the Saugus Public Schools District-Wide MSBA Educational Planning Committee - Special Education, Saugus High School MSBA Educational Planning Committee - Special Education, Saugus High School Instructional Support Team Chair, NEASC Reporting Committee, Technology Advising Committee - Saugus Public Schools, Superintendent Search Committee - Saugus Public Schools, New Teacher Mentor Program - Saugus High School and as Peer Mentor Program Facilitator - Saugus High School.

Trainor is licensed by the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for the following: Special Education Administrator at all levels, Supervisor/Director of Special Education at all levels, Principal/Assistant Principal for grades 9-12, Sheltered English Immersion as an administrator, Moderate Disabilities for grades 5-12 and Severe Disabilities at all levels.

Some highlights of this week’s interview follow.

Q: Okay, Dawn. What is the most challenging aspect of your job that you have just been appointed to?

A: What I would say, is just acclimating to all of the daily responsibilities of this job, as the scope of them will certainly be a little bit more than I’m used to as assistant principal. I think the background that I have will certainly come to play and help me with this. However, just like anything else, anything new, even though you require a learning curve, you have to get the hang of it.

Q: You’ve got about, like, four or five areas of responsibility here. And not just the special education component.

A: Yes. So it’s special education, bilingual education, any matters pertaining to pupil personnel across the district, special education and regular education, a 504 piece [a 504 plan helps a child with special health care needs who doesn’t qualify for special education services to fully participate in school], homelessness – that’s a big problem and something that needs to be carefully addressed.

Q: And as far as your background, you’ve got the special education.

A: Correct. I have a Master’s degree in special education. I have taught in both inclusion and substantially separate settings, so that has kind of given me a wide variety of different disabilities and how to strategize around accommodating for those students. I served as a paraprofessional as well, and an ETL, which is an Evaluation Team Leader. And that’s the person who really looks for policy and procedure in the meetings and making sure that all parties are present, all services are documented correctly and are in line with what the student needs.

Q: What is the biggest challenge you face of all of those areas going in?

A: Honestly, probably just the scope of the job. There’s going to be a lot that I know, will be sort of “Oh, I’m doing that job, too.” It will be the scope of the job.

Q: On any given day, if somebody comes into the district with special needs, all of a sudden, you could have a half-million responsibility that the school district assumes.

A: You got it. Yes. Correct. Special Education numbers are always in flux. They need to be watched carefully. The budget, as you know and you have probably heard at the School Committee meetings, is of concern. It’s a day-to-day thing. You need to make sure you’re staying on top of that. And that can be challenging. Sure.

Q: Any advice you received from your predecessor [Lisa Howard]?

A: Sure. I think that she has given me a wealth of knowledge, actually. I worked as an ATL [Assistant Team Leader] right under her for about three years. I know that she came with a wealth of experience herself and she shared a lot with me, so I’m sure I will be putting that to good use.

Q: What’s the best advice she gave you for the job?

A: I think, probably, it wasn’t direct advice. It was more or less “Take it day by day and make sure you are paying attention. Don’t come in and be overwhelmed and try to do everything at once. Just kind of take it slow and steady.”

Q: Now – the homeless – it’s an area where the numbers can change quickly.

A: That, I’m not as well-versed on yet. I will need to get to that. I do know that is something we will be concerned with. However, as far as hard and fast numbers, I am not certain of that yet. Yes, that is something I need to attend to.

Q: And the particular challenge there?

A: Just being compassionate and knowing who needs and what and getting it to them. Obviously, we have to be cost-effective in how we do things, but these are people, you know. They have needs and we need to be cognizant of that and compassionate about it.

Q: Some of them may be Saugus residents and some of them may be from some other communities.

A: Absolutely.

Q: And they just happen to wind up with the vouchers for the particular hotel and become part of the town’s responsibility.

A: And that’s okay. That’s part of what we do. It’s just looking at those numbers again and trying to be cost-effective as possible. However, being as compassionate as you can be. They deserve that.

Q: Looking back on your career, what’s the experience that best prepares you for this position?

A: I think what happened – the way that I have seen it from different lenses – seeing this job through a different lens. As a paraprofessional to the teacher to the ETL. Taking that special education background and serving as an assistant principal served me enormously. I really believe that whole special education piece is worth its weight in gold. And now I bring all of that to the table, plus expanding my scope of it as an assistant principal. Stepping away from the day-to-day special education function to perform that job, still with a close eye on special education kind of even rounded it out a bit more for me. So, I believe I am bringing a unique perspective. I have developed a lot of positive working relationships and a lot of trust with people in the community and in the school system. And I intend to continue to build on that, and I think it will serve me well in this role.

Q: And things have changed a lot since 1985 when you graduated from Saugus High School?

A: Yes, they have.

Q: Had you ever envisaged being in a position like you are now?

A: No. Never. It’s just something that I became passionate about when I became a permanent substitute. I worked with special education population heavily, and I decided from there that I would get my credentials and continue to build on it, and it just kind of happened. But there’s nothing more rewarding than serving in your own community and giving back. It’s been so good to me and my family.

Q: What has been the most rewarding experience for you while working in Saugus Public Schools?

A: It’s probably been building those relationships with students and their families and just earning their trust and earning that good back-and-forth piece. Certainly, it has been wonderful for me, all of the professional relationships I have had as well. I very much so enjoyed that. But I have taken a lot of pride in my approach to special education and the compassion that I share with families and students. And I think again – I probably mentioned this before – that has served me well, and I don’t lose sight of that.

Q: When you graduated from Saugus High in 1985, what did you have in mind at that point?

A: At that point, I was heavily into fitness. I went to school for sports management. I pursued a bachelor’s degree with that, and from there, I became a mom. And having become a mom and donated my time to the classrooms and a class mom and all of that, I just realized how much I loved working with students and those with special needs in particular. I had a knack for it. And that’s what kind of got me on my course, you know?

Q: Did you marry a Saugonian?

A: Yeah, I did. He graduated in 1984; my husband Tom. We have three kids. They came up through the school system. My youngest just graduated last June and that’s been a positive, wonderful experience as well. So, when you see it coming from all of those different angles, you see how it’s so rewarding to serve here in this room. But also having that benefit of having worked in that room with these families.

Q: And you were class president?

A: Yeah, that was fun.

Q: Any other things you look back on that helped? Were you a member of the National Honor Society?

A: I was involved with a lot of different things. No, I was not an honor graduate. I was an average student. I didn’t apply myself as much as I could have. But when I became interested in getting my master’s degree, for instance, I graduated 3.85 in my class. So, I think once you put your mind to something and get a passion for it, there’s no stopping you. You just keep going. But, yes, I had a great time in high school.

Q: As class president, there’s a lot of responsibility that goes there.

A: Yes. Correct.

Q: Did you get to speak at …

A: Graduation? Yes. At the commencement I did. During various assemblies. As much as they do now, it’s a lot similar, actually. Although, the civic-minded students that I see nowadays, they’re so inspiring. They really have that full community feel where, when we were back in school, I think it was just more of the school. I see the students breaking out. With the community service piece, I see that as a really positive element. It comes together a lot more for students nowadays, which is nice. We’re breeding those students who can then serve their community, and hopefully, one day in a different and more broader capacity.

Q: A good part of your job is as troubleshooter?

A: Oh, yeah – problem-solving.

Q: And what are the biggest challenges of those?

A: That, I wouldn’t even know yet, because I haven’t had it come across my desk. But I know from past experience, usually relying on your reasoning skills is huge. We need to use common sense with our decision-making. We need to use compassion and deep thought, but at the same time, there are times you need to be decisive. You have to know what you have to know and go with it.

Q: There are a lot more challenges now, being a student. You have the two adjustment counselors in this year’s budget to address students with emotional needs, for example.

A: Yes, that’s a wonderful idea. Families need support. They need guidance. They need an ear to bounce things off. There are times when parents are really struggling with their child, so I’m really glad they’ve provided support for them.

Q: Any kind of game plan, moving forward? A strategy to your job? What are some of the things you are going to do?

A: Yes. I want to make sure I’m keeping close contact with the superintendent, according to the mission and the vision of the schools. This is something where I am going to have to find my own way of how I am going to approach this job, but I want to hear from people. I want to hear from all of the stakeholders, for sure. The CPAC – which is special education parent advisory council – a fantastic group; I want to meet up with them and get their ideas about what they think is good and what do we need to improve upon, and kind of take that approach with a lot of different people; keep their input and use that moving forward. Careful listening is how I plan to go about this.

Q: Any new ideas or programs that you want to bring into the position?

A: I am passionate about program development. I have worked on that in the past, particularly at the high school level with social and emotional needs of students – behavioral needs of students – intellectual disability and of that nature. And usually that is a separate programing. I am definitely passionate about that and will keep a close eye on that and continue to improve upon the programs and services that we offer our students. I am a proponent for keeping students here, at Saugus Public Schools. I think that what we offer them is unrivaled and I want to make that a showcase – an example.

Q: Is there anything unique and interesting in your background that will come into play with this new job that will help you through?

A: While I think I am answering your questions well, I am not a bragger. It’s not in my nature. Well there are probably things about me …

Q: Well, share… if you will … please.

A: I have the special education background. And I’ve built upon what I’ve done in the district. That kind of speaks to my plan moving forward, what it is that’s driving me, what I’m passionate about.

Q: Anything else that you would like to share about yourself, this position, challenges and things you like to do?

A: I like to read, especially about work-related stuff. I know that probably sounds boring, but I am an avid reader of many different things work-related.

Q: What do you do as a pastime?

A: I like to hang out with friends. I like to be with my family. I like to do fun things with my family. I have three kids, as I mentioned, so I spend a lot of time being a good mom, I hope, and a good wife to my husband. But now, with my children grown as they are, I anticipate that I will probably have a little more time on my hands to kind of focus in on my career.

Q: How many years for you in the Saugus Public Schools?

A: Officially in ’04, but prior to that, I was in a lot of classrooms as a class mom, with my kids growing up and coming through. So – when I realized – after a few years of doing that, I said, “I’m going to become personnel. I want to do this.” And that’s where the para position began in ’04. When you have a knack for something, it kind of shows. And it just went from there. It was a passion for me.

Q: What’s your hobby when you are not doing school-related work?

A: Just reading – going out. I love to go out. My husband and I go out quite a bit. We just relax and go get something to eat or have a few drinks, get together with friends. That’s huge for me. Whatever fun comes up, I’m fine. I’m not an avid anything, I would say. I’m just one of those people who kind of goes with the flow, and whatever feels good, we’re going to do.

Q: Anything else that you would like to share?

A: I would like to thank Dr. DeRuosi for his support of me and recommending me. I would like to thank the School Committee. The 5-0 vote [approving her appointment last Friday] was very refreshing and I am very thankful for that. And I just want to let the townspeople know, especially parents of special education students and 504 students, that I have an eye on them, I’m thinking of them and I want to continue to improve what we offer our students. That’s my main focus. And I realize that I have a little bit to learn, but that’s okay. I’ll do it.

Q: And you plan to have community meetings with parents?

A: Yes. That’s something I will set up. One of the first things I do will be to meet with the CPAC. So we’ll have a meet and greet with parents who want to participate. I’ll be available for questions and answers, that kind of thing – meeting with administrators – meeting with parents, wherever they need to be.

Q: Anything with a website that’s been set up?

A: We do have our website that’s been worked on. I know that needs a little attention still. I think that’s a work in progress. I wouldn’t mind sending out some kind of newsletter, maybe quarterly from the Office of Pupil Personnel – just kind of updates on what’s happening in the district and highlighting the goals and everything – just letting parents know, because they don’t always have the opportunity to know.

Q: Anything else?

A: I think we are good. I’m just excited to get going.

   

Final Reflection

Saugus Public Schools superintendent gives himself “proficient” scores in meeting 13 goals he set – plus “exemplary” for work ethic

Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David DeRuosi, Jr. completed a little more than a third of the goals he worked on during his first year on the job, according to the self-evaluation report he recently submitted to the School Committee. Overall, DeRuosi gave himself “proficient” scores for each of the four standards encompassing 13 individual goals he set soon after taking charge of the town’s public education system last July 1.

This mirrored the composite evaluation of “proficient” in all four standards approved this week by the School Committee. (See related story “DeRuosi’s Report Card.”) But DeRuosi marked himself as “exemplary” for his “General Work Ethic Rating,” in the document he authored titled “Final Reflection FY 16-FY 17 School Year School Committee Goals.”

“All of these goals were accomplished while completing the daily requirements of a superintendent,” DeRuosi wrote in a summary comment on nine accomplishments for “Work beyond my original SC Goals for FY16-FY17.”

In that summary, he noted:

• “I walked into open negotiations on 3 contracts and have closed all three.

• Worked to develop Educational Plan for MSBA (Massachusetts School Building Authority), met all benchmarks laid out by MSBA for this project, became an active member of the Building Committee, facilitated meetings on the Building Project within the community, and worked closely with Town Manager to go out into the community to talk about the plan.

• Took lead role in working with HFMH facilitator Mr. Locker to ensure meetings were being held in district with staff. I further worked with Mr. Locker to ensure follow-up meetings would happen in district and co-presented with him (A new building project requires a great amount of superintendent attention.)

• Will continue to work with Booster Club, Youth Sports Group and HS athletics to ensure proper policies were being followed.

• Continue Vehicle Maintenance.

• Based on a motion of the SC, I originated an All Day K-Task force and produced a report to SC on the feasibility of implementing All Day K.

• I have met all requests of SC members in a timely manner.

• Met and have managed all requirements of this district to date.

• Involved community members by invitation to attend meeting and special community presentations.”

 

Here’s are some excerpts from what DeRuosi had to say about each of the four standards categorizing the goals.

Standard I: Instructional Leadership

SC Goal #1 Discrepancy analysis of elementary curriculum will occur by Feb 2017. Status: Completed.

Reflection: “Solid work done in this area by my elementary principals … We have a solid map to work from .... moving the Education Plan from a document to practice in the district.”

SC Goal #2 Written/digital curriculum guides using a consistent format by grade/subject matter including content, lessons, objectives and assessments linked to Mass Frameworks. Status: Ongoing (Multi-year Goal which is now impacted by the future redesign of district and implementation of MSBA approved Educational Plan)

Reflection: “This goal is ongoing and will continue to be a priority of the district moving forward. State frameworks are also in flux at this time and as a district will make the needed adjustments.

SC Goal #3 Develop philosophy, approach and grade level curriculum guide for writing. Status: Ongoing.

Reflection: “I recognize the development of the writing program for Saugus Public Schools was ‘bogged’ down for some years. I believe we made significant progress this year. We plan to implement in the FY17 school year, gather data and review program.

Overall Progress Rating for Standard I: proficient.

Standard 2: Management and Operation

SC Goal #4 Evaluate the effectiveness of budget development, format and management to improve clarity and transparency for local officials and citizens. Status: completed.

Reflection: “...There was a belief as a district we need to get our own fiscal house in order. We were told that our budget was ‘not sustainable.’ During this budget process we examined staffing needs, building consolidation, special education staffing, food service, and athletic budget looking to become more efficient. I believe our budget this year demonstrated the district’s willingness to examine our ‘fiscal house’ and make adjustments …”

SC Goal #5 Create solvency in the food service budget. Status: completed.

Reflection: “The SC agreed the fastest track to creating solvency was to outsource the food service program. Working with our finance manager, our attorney, SC negotiation team and the SC Food Subgroup I was able to create an RFP, create an MOA to server ties and worked with representatives from Whitsons to secure a contract. Prior to the final outsourcing decision, we worked hard to begin the process of reducing student debt, tighten purchasing procedures and deal with staffing issues …”

SC Goal #6 Evaluate individual components of Schedule 19 charge backs including accuracy as well as comparative practices. Status: ongoing.

Reflection: “It is difficult for new superintendent to tackle Goals #6 and #7 because both goals rely heavily on a relationship between Town and School Officials. It took me two and a half years in Malden to develop a relationship with City Officials to enter into a true discussion on charge backs. I believe the relationship between the distinct and the Town is moving in the right direction. My goal over the summer is to meet with the Town Manager to discuss Schedule 19 charge backs.”

SC Goal #7 Develop a charge back agreement between the school department and the town as recommended in the most recent school department audit. Status: ongoing.

Reflection: “I have reviewed the drafted agreement letter drafted by SC last year. As stated above my goal is to meet with Town Manager over the summer. My recommendation again is to request an independent auditor to review the Schedule 19 charge backs.

SC Goal #8 Establish an accurate line item budget for athletics FY18. Status: completed.

Reflection: “...I completed this goal by remaining focused on the need to build accurate budget with regard to all items falling under athletics in the district. To accomplish this goal I had multiple meetings with the athletic director. I ensued proper procurement procedures were being used, reviewed and questioned any request for funding before agreeing to them. … We have significantly improved the efficiency of our athletic program and budget …”

Overall Progress Rating for Standard 2: Proficient.

Standard 3: Family and Community Engagement

SC Goal #9 Provide equity of staff and material resources at the elementary grade span. Status: ongoing. (This should be the focus moving forward as we plan for a Pre-K-2, 3-5 and 6-12 realignment of the district.

Reflection: “This is a broad goal due to many factors; the biggest is the number of buildings housing elementary grades and the disparity in enrollment. Using SC goals 1,2,3 we were able to begin the process of aligning curriculum, examining how resources are provided district wide and provide opportunity for elementary principals to meet … We made strides toward providing equity within the elementary grades this year.”

SC Goal #10 Foster existing partnerships to promote student achievement and enrichment and to develop new partnerships. Status: ongoing. (This process of looking for good partners is constant.)

Reflection: “We have expanded partnerships to include Camp Inventions, Apha-Best, North Shore Community College to support our academics and enrichment programs. I will continue my work with professional partners like Ribas Associates who provide professional development for administrator’s classes for administration and teachers. We will continue to work with our state partners DSAC at the middle and high school levels. I will also continue our work with local partners such as Salem Five, Youth Sports Groups, Booster Clubs and Park and Recreation. My work with the District wide PTO will continue into 2017-2018 school year...”

SC Goal #11 Engage community to develop what student achievement means to Saugus. Status: ongoing (This will continue in order to support realignment.)

Reflection: “This question was asked as part of my entry plan and I believe we have moved well beyond this question in the community. This community is looking for a student achievement I believe our Education Plan can produce. Next steps for district is to explain our Education Plan and the changes to our instructional methods to support or realignment of our district.”

Overall Progress Rating for Standard 3: proficient.

Standard 4: Professional Culture

SC Goal #12 Revise the existing mission statement. Status: ongoing (changing a culture and instructional practice is not a 1-year goal).

Reflection: “I have started this work and will complete it in the fall. This work will be completed by multiple stakeholders in the community. It will be vetted through multiple methods, and will be approved by next October. This process will focus on merging our Education Plan with the philosophy of Personalized Learning Administrative team…”

SC Goal #13 Market strategy that accurately portrays student achievement.

Reflection: “71 percent vote to approve new school build and Master Plan to support rebuilding a district is a clear indicator we have a community who believes in our Education Plan and the leadership to make it happen. On June 20th our hard work in engaging a community paid off. I made it a priority to get out into the community and educate them of what we do. I provided opportunities for them to meet with me, talk with me and ask questions … best marketing strategy I can suggest at this time: One Town, One Team: Building a Stronger Saugus.”

Overall Progress Rating for Standard 4: proficient.

By Mark E. Vogler

   

Celebrating an elite Elk

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Grand Exalted Ruler Michael Zellen of Saugus-Everett Elks, Lodge No. 642 of Saugus, honored

Michael Zellen, of Saugus-Everett Elks, Lodge No. 642 of Saugus, recently finished his term as Grand Exalted Ruler for the year 2016-2017. Last Saturday (July 29), Zellen, of Peabody, received a Citation from the Town of Saugus and the State Senate and House of Representatives for all his tireless work and charitable giving on behalf of the Elks.

During the time he was Exalted Ruler, Zellen traveled throughout the country, visiting Elk lodges in 48 states. You can follow the travels of Michael Zellen on the Mass Elks website, http://www.masselks.org/.

The benevolent Elks are a charitable organization made up of men and women.

   

Alumni Game will be part of the Veterans/Military Appreciation Day at World Series Park in Saugus

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World Series Park in Saugus will host a Veterans/Military Appreciation Day on Saturday, September 16. This will be a 10 a.m.-5 p.m. all-day event that will be free and open to the public. The Annual Saugus Alumni Baseball Game will be part of this event and will be played at 3 p.m.

The day is being sponsored by Wheelabrator Saugus, the energy-from-waste company that has been part of the Saugus community since 1975. Wheelabrator has been an ongoing contributor to numerous Saugus events and organizations and is once again stepping up to support this community event.

Bob Davis, superintendent of World Series Park, said, “The goal of this event is to have the community come together to honor our veterans and active military. All veterans and active military will be our special guests and will be presented with Challenge Coins and be treated to food and drink. We very much appreciate Wheelabrator’s sponsorship. We think this will be a fun, community event and encourage all to attend.”

A Commemorative Ceremony will take place on the baseball field starting at 11 a.m. Parachutists and the landing and display of a Massachusetts National Guard Army Blackhawk helicopter will highlight the ceremony. The host/master of ceremonies will be former Boston TV personality Barry Nolan. The honored guest will be Captain Richard Kent, a Purple Heart recipient who served in Afghanistan. Invited to participate in the ceremony are federal, state and local officials, military officials, the clergy, singers and many more. A torch lighting, a balloon release and music will be part of the ceremony. Free American flags will be distributed to everyone.

Following the ceremony, the U.S. Navy Band will present a concert. This will be followed by the Annual Saugus Alumni Baseball Game. (Any former Saugus baseball player interested in playing in the game should contact Mark Mitchell at 781-858-5048.) Other elements of the all-day event include a military vehicles display, a classic cars display, drill teams and marching units, military reenactments and displays, a parade of motorcycles and a large American flag displayed from a fire ladder truck.

In addition to the Navy Band, all-day entertainment will be performed by the Senior Tones, Tom Rosa and Company, and Beat ConnXtionz Dance Company. A moon bounce and costumed characters will provide entertainment for the children. Booths, raffles and lots of food and drinks round out the event.

   

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