By James Mitchell
It’s sad driving around Everett, once home to Everett’s Pride – its schools – as the dark days of the current school administration continue unabated with this pathetic three ring circus, with a gallery filled with clowns ranging from felons, gravelly voiced outsiders, to corrupt reporters. Driving along Elm Street, all one has to do is look at the overgrown, unkempt landscape where the letters EHS adorned the hillside, welcoming all to the once hallowed halls of Everett High School. Drive by the Whittier School and gaze upon another mess of overgrown weeds. The schools never looked this bad – ever.
It appears to mirror the state of the Everett Public Schools. Just look at the MCAS scores since Priya Tahiliani took over the school district. It’s all politics – not education. It’s lawsuits – not achievements. And how did we get here – where the only thing you read about is lawsuits, school walkouts and low test scores?
How could a school administrator from Boston, with neither the qualifications nor the experience to be a school superintendent, get the position as the school district’s leader? How could she have been placed on the candidate’s list without so much as a Master’s Degree in Education, let alone work experience, at the very least a school principal position, over candidates with vast amounts of education and experience? It’s truly mind-boggling given the only achievement she can demonstrate is how many high school students can hold “Priya For Everett” signs in photos published in The Boston Globe.
In Wednesday’s Fishwrap, the corrupt reporter Josh Resnek let his dwindling readership know that he was still shilling for Priya, and hating on the mayor, despite reporting back in 2021 about the former chairman of the School Committee and the supt. selection committee, Thomas Abruzzese’s son, Jason Abruzzese, was recommended for disciplinary action and termination by the Law Firm of Clifford & Kenny, LLP in a report stating that Abruzzese spent hundreds of hours on school time on an EPS computer surfing the web over a period of five months for his own personal entertainment, according to Resnek’s July 2021 story. He was also arrested and charged in 2019 by Everett Police for assault and battery on his wife.
According to Resnek’s story, Chairman Abbruzzese requested to Interim Supt. Janice Gauthier that his son be moved to the Parlin School from the Madeline English. Following the 2020 report, Abruzzese was suspended with pay and faced no disciplinary action.
Coincidentally enough, in 2019, Tahiliani was selected as Supt. of Everett Public Schools over candidates such as Paul Toner, a highly experienced educator with a Master’s Degree in Education along with a wide range of experience in education and leadership, to say the least.
Tahiliani’s highest degree was a Master of Liberal Arts in Creative Writing and Literature from Harvard University; her work experience according to her resume was just under two years as an assistant supt. in the Office of English Language Learners for the Boston Public Schools; prior to that she was a 10th and 11th grade teacher at Madison Park Technical Vocational High School from 2012 to 2016.
In her resume submitted to the school board’s selection committee, Tahiliani offers a one-line objective: “To obtain a district leadership position that utilizes my educational and management expertise” – hardly a legitimate candidate for a school superintendent’s position. And as the MCAS scores and her own “Proficient” grading from the current school board have proven the point, she deserves to be shown the door. Unfortunately for Everett’s students, the only management expertise she has brought to Everett is mismanagement through intimidation, lawsuits and divisiveness.
When will this school board stop listening to the same clowns in the gallery and start listening to the parents and teachers who’ve had enough of this ridiculous circus?
As the song goes, “How we gonna miss you if you don’t go away?” When will this school board finally show Ms. Tahiliani the door and hire a supt. of schools who’s actually qualified to lead the district in the right direction?