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The Sounds of Saugus

Guess Who Got Sketched for July 15 Saugus Advocate
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The Superintendent’s Report Card

  Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Erin McMahon recently received her first professional evaluation since being hired by the School Committee a little more than a year ago.

  For the average Saugonian watching the committee’s June 16 meeting, it can be difficult following the superintendent’s half-hour public evaluation without having the written document in front of you – unless you are familiar with the process.

  Rather than write a straightforward story about the evaluation segment of the meeting, we felt our readers would be better served if they were able to read highlights of the evaluation, with comments from each of the committee members who evaluated the superintendent.

  For this week’s issue, we decided to request copies of the evaluation – which included a composite evaluation and individual evaluations from the four committee members who interviewed the superintendent. In addition, we asked the superintendent for reaction to the evaluation. Her comments are included in our story.

  It’s important to point out that School Committee Member Leigh Gerow decided not to participate in the evaluation because she’s only been on the committee a short time. She joined the committee in May, filling the vacancy created when Committee Chair Thomas R. Whittredge resigned for personal reasons. Whittredge left office before he could submit an evaluation.

  The evaluation results really shouldn’t be a surprise to readers. The superintendent has received considerable support and praise from the committee during her first year.

  Faced with some significant challenges in one of the state’s most underperforming school districts in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and a massive reorganization involving curriculum and a consolidation from six schools into three, the superintendent had her work cut out in her very first year. She received a “Proficient” grade in each of the category standards. The highest possible grade she could receive is “Exemplary.”

  But the individual remarks reflect the views of a committee that believes she is doing “a great job.”

  In his evaluation, School Committee Chair Vincent Serino notes that the superintendent needs improvement in several elements of Family and Community Engagement, specifically when it comes to sharing responsibility and communication with families and community stakeholders.

  In the category of Professional Culture, Serino also notes that the superintendent needs improvement in communication and also in managing conflict.

  The superintendent has set lofty goals, including a five-year plan for Saugus Public Schools to rise from the bottom 10 percent of academically performing school districts to the top 10 percent in the state.

  With so much on her plate in her first year, the areas where the School Committee has identified as “needs improvement” shouldn’t be a major concern.

  But going forward, communication with the public, town officials, teachers, parents, students and others involved with Saugus Public Schools is crucial to the superintendent achieving her goals and for the betterment of public education in Saugus.

  Some of the School Committee members expressed concerns about the public evaluation process.

  But the committee voted to hire the superintendent on a five-year contract that totals about a million dollars. The evaluation is necessary in order to hold the superintendent accountable. Used with future evaluations, it’s also a valuable tool to measure her overall performance, documenting her strengths and shortcomings and areas where she needs to improve.

  Evaluations by their nature, of course, are subjective. We leave it up to our readers to draw their own conclusions as to how well the superintendent is performing in her first year of a five-year plan.


Back-to-School Countdown

  Hey, Saugus kids!

  Enjoy your summer while it lasts. Read a little. Have fun. Relax, because you only have about seven more weeks left until it’s back-to-school time!

  The 2022-23 School Year Calendar was recently posted on the Saugus Public Schools website. School begins Aug, 30 for students in grades 1 to 12. Kindergarten and Pre-K classes begin on Aug. 31.

  If you are interested in local places to visit to spice up your summer, go to the Saugus Public Library, the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, Breakheart Reservation, the Youth & Recreation Department or the Saugus Senior Center. Collectively, these places offer a lot of summertime options for Saugus residents.

2015 Student Records will be destroyed

  The Cumulative Record Folders for the Saugus High School Graduate Class of 2015 are scheduled for destruction on Aug. 1.

  Any 2015 Graduate of Saugus High School who wishes to obtain their records before they are destroyed, please email Kim Alba at kalba@saugus.k12.ma.us The pick-up dates and times will be given to you via email.

Cruise Night Car Show for a Cause

  Guy Moley and Fuddruckers on Route 1 North in Saugus are at it again – organizing another fundraiser – this one being the Mom’s Cancer Fighting Angel’s Seventh Annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life.

  The Cruise Night Car Show is set for 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday (July 17) at Fuddruckers on Route 1 North. The rain date is Sunday, July 24.

  If you like a few hours filled with cars, motorcycles, trucks, food, music, raffles and trophies, Guy says you should check it out. Or, call him for more information at 781-640-1310.

We have a winner!

  Congratulations to Cheryl Panico for making the right identification in last week’s “Guess Who Got Sketched?” Contest. She was one of several readers answering correctly. But she was the only one to have her name picked in a drawing from the green Boston Red Sox cap.

  Here’s the correct answer, offered by the person who goes by the name of The Sketch Artist:

  “The answer to last week’s sketch is Gene Decareau and his wife Arlene – who is the wind beneath Gene’s wings.

  “This couple extends themselves to Saugus in Countless ways. Company comes through the front door (that’s people who don’t know how to use the back door!) but friends they greet through a quaint country screened-in porch & beautifully landscaped gardens they tend to. Warmth exudes with smiles and a cold drink.

  “Gene and Arlene were the subject of a sketch in (Jan. 8th Saugus Advocate pg. 9), which includes a short bio in “We have a winner!” (January 15, 2021 page 5)

  “Gene is a member of the Saugus Lions Club and was awarded a “Dedicated Humanitarian Services” Award from the Lions Club. When people donate $50.00 or more to the Lions Club, Gene will often surprise the generous donor with a pie!

  “Gene has often baked pies for fund raisers and one time with a bid of $35.00, one gentleman of the Saugus Historical Society walked off with smiles and a pie he later claimed was worth it!

  “Often, Gene has people rolling in dough learning how to make pies. Gene graciously gives all his pie secrets & techniques. (Quite often Chefs give a little of their secrets and then hold back some.) Gene sets you up to succeed and enjoys seeing your progress.

  “Gene and Arlene talked about the many pie fillings and certain way the bananas are prepared for the bottom of Gene’s signature “Banana cream pie”

  “All Gene’s pie’s start with his meticulous care and abundance and are then topped with a fresh batch of his homemade whip cream!

  “This sketch Artist enjoyed pleasurable hospitality while making pies with his tips & secrets and saw major pie crust improvements!

  * Gene has been a Guest on Saugus Cable TV showing how to make pies. In the sketch depicted is Gene’s “secret ingredient“ Orange Juice which is shared freely.

  “Thank You! Yours Truly,

  “The Sketch Artist”

“Shout outs” to Gene and Arlene

  We didn’t receive any nominations from our readers this week for a Saugus resident deserving of high praise.

  So, we’ll share some of the complimentary comments we received from readers responding to last week’s (July 7) “Guess Who Got Sketched” contest, who identified correctly Eugene and Arlene Decareau, who will be celebrating their 70th anniversary this fall:

  Stacie Manning: “This week’s sketch is the wonderful Gene Decareau and his lovely wife Arlene. Both are extraordinary individuals and a terrific couple. They are always available to help anyone when needed, and they are both tremendous assets to the town of Saugus. The sketch artist did a great job with this drawing. A+++”

  Cheryl Panico: “He (Gene) does make delicious pies!

  Bonnie Newman: “What a delightful character he (Gene) is!”

Want to “Shout Out” a fellow Saugonian?

  This is an opportunity for our paper’s readers to single out — in a brief mention — remarkable acts or achievements by Saugus residents. Or, an act of kindness or a nice gesture. Just send an email (mvoge@comcast.net) with the mention in the subject line, “An Extra Shout Out.” No more than a paragraph. Anything longer might lend itself to a story and/or a photo.

Summer Concert Series continues Wednesday

  The National Parks Service and Saugus Public Library are co-sponsoring a free Summer Concert Series that continues next Wednesday (July 20) at 6 p.m. at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site, located at 244 Central St. in Saugus.

  Ditto Band will perform American rock and folk from the 60s & 70s next week in the Wednesday evening series which will last through Aug. 24.

  Here is the rest of the Summer Concert Series at a glance:

  • July 27th –Jump Street: Pop, R & B, Blues, Jump, Classic Rock.
  • August 3rd – Squeeze Box Stompers: Cajun & Zydeco
  • August 10th – Memorylaners : 50’s, 60’s & 70’s music
  • August 17th – Decades of Rock Band : Classic Rock 70’, 80’s & 90’s
  • August 24th – Marina & Bernardo: Acoustic Folk

  Each concert will be held outdoors, weather permitting (see SaugusPublicLibrary.org for updates/cancellations). Bring your own chair or blanket. Picnics welcome!

What’s happening at the Saugus Public Library

  For school children looking for interesting projects and programs to participate in this summer, there’s plenty to do at the Saugus Public Library. Here are this month’s highlights:

  Firetruck Storytime at the Saugus Ironworks, Thursday, July 21st, from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Head to the Saugus Ironworks for a chance to meet Saugus firefighters, see their fire engine and listen to a firetruck story with Ms. Amy. Open to all ages. Registration is not required. Please check the online event calendar the morning of the event for weather-related updates.

  Shark Week Storytime and Craft with Kelly, Thursday, July 21st, 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. in the Craft Room. Ages 4 and up. Registration is not required.

  Disney Dance Party at the Saugus Ironworks, Monday, July 25 at 4:30 p.m. with Miss Toniann. Stories and Dancing. Wear your favorite dress up clothes.

  3-D Fish Bowl Crafts, Wednesday, July 27th, from 3:30 to 4:15 p.m. in the Craft Room. Create and decorate your own 3-D fish bowl. Ages 4 and up. Registration required, at the Children’s Desk or email nshmueli@noblenet.org.

  Check out the Whalemobile, Thursday, July 28, at the Saugus Ironworks. Four time slots available: 10, 10:30, 11 and 11:30 a.m. Ages 5 and above only. Registration required. Backup location for rain or extreme heat: Saugus YMCA. Check the event calendar the morning of the event for weather updates.

  Coming events:

  Princess Ariel Storytime at the Saugus Ironworks, Wednesday, Aug. 3, from 10 to 11 a.m. Stories, songs and activities with Ariel. All Ages. Registration not required.

  Tie-Dye with Zoe, Thursday Aug. 4, 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Craft Room. Ages 8 and up. Registration required. Email melton@noblenet.org to register. Please bring one item to tie-dye.

WIN Waste Innovations to address town

  WIN Waste Innovations is finally set to sit down with the town officials and offer a proposal on what could be included in a new host agreement related to the operation of its trash-to-energy plant and the adjacent ash landfill on Route 107.

  “Nothing is more important to us than our partnerships with the communities we serve,” WIN Waste Innovations Vice President of Environmental Affairs James Connolly said last week.

  “We look forward to continuing our discussions with the Landfill Committee on ways in which the Town can maximize the benefits of our public-private partnership with Saugus,” Connolly said.

  The meeting between the Board of Health landfill subcommittee and WIN Waste officials has been set for July 27 at 7 p.m. in the second-floor auditorium at Saugus Town Hall, according to Board of Selectmen Chair Anthony Cogliano, who co-chairs the panel with Board of Health Chair William Heffernan.

  “This will just be a presentation,” Cogliano told his colleagues at Tuesday night’s (July 13) meeting.

  Cogliano said the public will be allowed to ask questions, but no action will be taken at the meeting.

  “The committee will take it (presentation) under advisement and schedule another hearing. I want the public to hear what they present,” he said. Cogliano said he will make arrangements for SaugusTV to cover the meeting to be broadcast on local cable television.

  This is a rescheduling of the meeting that was originally planned for February, but was postponed indefinitely until the board was operating at full strength.

  The Board of Health subcommittee, which in recent months has been referred to as the Landfill Committee, was created by the Board of Health in late 2020 to promote a better working relationship with WIN (formerly Wheelabrator) on issues related to the incinerator and ash landfill.

  A main focus of the committee members over the past year has been the development of a new host agreement that addresses a wide range of health, safety, environmental and community issues. These are key issues that members want to see as part of the agreement:

  • All members agree health is most important, and company officials should verify they are doing all they can to make sure everyone is safe in Saugus and surrounding communities.
  • Committee would like to look into a program like Massport with Winthrop with the noise issue there.
  • Continued testing for the public safety, continue to work with the committee, striving as much as possible to clean quality air coming out of the stacks while lowering noise levels and testing what is in the ash. Water testing, especially around all three landfills
  • Co-Chair Cogliano wants to know about air quality monitors
  • Lower NOx (Nitrous oxide) levels without purchasing credits.
  • Keep upgrading facility to invest in it to make it more modern.
  • Plan Comprehensive Health Study, funding for air quality testing and small particle testing, funding for noise monitoring.
  • Construction of a 3rd Fire Station to cover the west side of town.
  • Free Tipping Fees.
  • Striving for Air Quality for a better quality of life.
  • Create a subcommittee for closing of the ash landfill.

Saugus seeks student poll workers

  Town Clerk Ellen Schena is circulating that “Uncle Sam needs you” flyer again, in search of student poll workers for the town’s fall elections.

  “I am looking for 16, 17 & 18 years-old Saugus Students to work the September and November Elections,” Schena wrote in a recent email to The Saugus Advocate.

  “Both are Tuesdays and there will be no school. Attached is the flyer I have used in the past.”

  The flyer includes a facsimile of a poster with a pointing “Uncle Sam,” and the declaration “I WANT YOU To Become a Poll Worker Today!”

  The flyer, titled “Calling all Saugus High Juniors and Senior,” promises to accommodate any hours the students want to work. It notes that the students can work as Community Services volunteers to fulfill their High School hours, or they can get paid as election workers:

  16-year-olds can work part-time shifts of 6 to 8 hours.

  17 & 18-year-olds can work full-time shifts of 8 to 12 hours.

  Interested students can stop by Town Hall or contact the Town Clerk’s Office to apply for work. Ask for Andrew DePatto, the Saugus Election Coordinator. He can be reached at 781-231-4102.

  Another bonus for participating students: “Great to have on your College Applications/Resumes.”

Food pantry seeks volunteers

  Here’s a message from Pastor Joe Hoyle of the Cliftondale Congregational Church about a collaborative community commitment to help needy Saugus residents:

  “The Saugus United Parish Food Pantry is a partnership between the churches in Saugus to ensure that no one in our community faces food insecurity.

  “With faithful donations and volunteers, we have been able to give out thousands of meals to our neighbors in need throughout the years. The Food Pantry is open every Friday from 9:30am-11am, distributing pre-packaged groceries (including meat and produce) at 50 Essex St.

  “We are always in need of volunteers. If you would like to volunteer or donate, please contact Pastor Joe Hoyle, Executive Director at office@clindalecc.org or 781-233-2663.”

Compost site now open

  The community’s compost site will be open to residents on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. The site is located behind the Department of Public Works at 515 Main Street.

  Stickers are required to gain seasonal access to the site. Stickers may be purchased for $25.00 at the Department of Public Works (DPW) located at the Compost Site when making your visit to the Compost Site. The Town accepts checks only for payment of the $25.00. No cash will be accepted. Kindly bring a check when visiting. Thank you!

  Compost site stickers must be permanently placed on the lower left corner of the residents’ automobile windshields. Vehicles registered out of state are not permitted.

  Yard waste must be disposed of in brown compost bags or open containers. The Town will accept grass clippings, leaves, and brush. As in years past, no branches or limbs larger than three inches in diameter are permitted.

  We ask all residents to please wear a mask, maintain and respect social distancing from others while visiting the site. Residents may call Lorna Cerbone at the Solid Waste and Recycling Department at 781-231-4036 with questions or for more information.

Concerts for vets

  Rockin 4 Vets presents ‘Homegrown Rock Concerts’ and ‘Throw Back Thursdays’ for New England Vets this summer at the Kowloon Restaurant’s outdoor venue, Route 1 North in Saugus. For tickets and prices go to Tickets@GIMMELIVE.COM.

  Home Grown Rock Lineup – Doors open at 3 p.m. – Concert at 4 p.m.

  JULY: July 10 — Fat City; July 17 — Victor Wainwright and the Train;

  July 24 – ft. Johnny A; July 31 — Anthony Gomes

  AUGUST: August 7 – Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters; August 14 — Rockin the House! Deric Dyer; August 21 — James Montgomery – Christine Ohlman; August 28 — Veronica Lewis.

  Tribute Bands — Doors open at 6pm – Concert at 7 p.m.

  JULY: July 14 — Cold Spring Harbor – Billy Joel; July 21 — Shot of Poison – Poison; July 28 — Aerosmith

  AUGUST: August 4 — Chicago; August 11 — What A Fool Believes – Doobie Brothers; August 18 — Another Tequila Sunrise – Eagles; August 25 – Panorama – The Cars.

  SEPTEMBER: September 1 — Being Petty – Tom Petty; September 8 – Studio Two – The Beatles; September 15 – Completely Unleashed – Van Halen

  If you would like to attend a show, please call Lauren at 617.247.4112. Band photos available upon request.

More outdoor music at Kowloon

  The Kowloon Restaurant announces their outdoor concert series for July with a variety of live bands at their Route 1 North in Saugus outdoor venue. For tickets call the Kowloon Restaurant at 781-233-0077.

  July Outdoor Concert Lineup:

  The Business Time Band

  From “Twist and Shout” to contemporary hits

  Saturday, July 16, 6 to 9 p.m.

   Up All Night!

  A dance band with dynamic vocalists

  Saturday, July 23, 7 to 10 p.m.

   Eric Grant Band

  Country music band

  Friday, July 29, 7 to 9 p.m.

   Fevah Dream

  Dance party band

  Saturday, July 30, 7 to 10 p.m.

Buy a brick to honor a Saugus veteran

  The Saugus War Monument Committee once again 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). Each line is a maximum of 15 characters.

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

  The brick application must be in by Sept. 15th to ensure the bricks will be ready for Veterans Day. Please contact Corinne Riley 781-231-7995, for more information and applications.

SHS Class of ‘62 plans 60th reunion

  Leaders of The Saugus High School Class of 1962 would like you to “SAVE THE DATE.”

  “Their 60th Class Reunion will be held on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Prince Pizzeria in Saugus. They are reaching out to contact fellow classmates as well as other years who would like to join them.

  The well-known 50’s and 60’s music group of Howie Conley will be there for their musical enjoyment. Those of you who have heard them know what a performance they put on.

  There will be pizza and salad combinations plus soft drinks. The price includes all you can eat, tax, gratuities, plus Howie Conley’s group and is $29 per person.

  There is a bar available for wine, beer and mixed drinks. There is no need to purchase tickets at this time.

  Please let one of the following people know of your interest either by a phone call or a text message so that you can be easily reached when the time draws near.

  No commitment is necessary. They are just exploring the number of interested classmates.

  • Donna “Cann” Olivera 781-987-4308
  • Jonni “Giantonio” Matrona 781-439-4200
  • Janice “Cristiano” Pomeroy 617-512-2097
  • Larry Seavers 704-906-2606

Looking for book donations

  The New Friends of the Saugus Public Library are asking for donations of gently-used adult hardcover and softcover Fiction for the ongoing book sale in the Community Room. They would also appreciate donations of gently-used Children’s Books.

   Please limit donations at this time to ONLY Fiction and Children’s books; we do not have storage space for other genres or media.

   Please….clean and newer books only. No tattered pages, bad odors, stains, or dirty covers!

   Books may be dropped off at the Main Circulation Desk during business hours. Please DO NOT place donations in the outdoor book drops.

Want to be a Knight?

  The Knights of Columbus is looking for new members to join. If interested in becoming a member of this local organization, please call 781-233-9858.

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 nearly six and a half years 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 mvoge@comcast.net.

  Do you have some interesting views on an issue that you want to express to the community? Submit your idea. If I like it, we can meet for a 15-to-20-minute interview over a hot drink at a local coffee shop. And, I’ll buy the coffee or tea. Or, if you prefer to continue practicing social distancing and be interviewed from the safety of your home on the phone or via email, I will provide that option to you as the nation recovers from the Coronavirus crisis.

  If it’s a nice day, my preferred site for a coffee and interview would be the picnic area of the Saugus Iron Works.

(this is the headline to go over the sketch)



Guess Who Got Sketched for July 15 Saugus Advocate

GUESS WHO GOT SKETCHED? If you know the right answer, you might win the contest. In this week’s edition, we continue our weekly feature where a local artist sketches people, places and things in Saugus. Got an idea who’s being sketched this week? If you do, please email me at mvoge@comcast.net or leave a phone message at 978 683-7773. Anyone who identifies the Saugonian sketched in this week’s paper between now and Tuesday at Noon qualifies to have their name put in a green Boston Red Sox hat with a chance to be selected as the winner of a $10 gift certificate, compliments of Dunkin’ Donuts in the Food Court at the Saugus Square One Mall. But you have to enter to win! Look for the winner and identification in next week’s “The Sounds of Saugus.” Please leave your mailing address in case you are a winner. (Courtesy illustration to The Saugus Advocate by a Saugonian who goes by the name of “The Sketch Artist”)

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