Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Here we chat with the School Committee's new chairman, Rick Kraft, posing three questions that look forward to his leadership role on the panel.
Rick Kraft was selected by the School Committee for the chairmanship, a position formerly held by Larry Beaupre, who did not seek re-election. Questions for Chairman Kraft: What will your priorities be? What do you think your leadership style will be, more of a take charge chairman or more of a laid back chairman? I am more of a facilitator and mediator than one who imposes my will on others. In most cases, drawing on multiple perspectives produces a better result than relying on any one person’s viewpoint. I build consensus and look for common ground to bring people together. I lead by empowering others and providing direction, not mandating how they must accomplish their goal. I want people to take action because they understand it…
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Here are the unofficial results from Tuesday's town election.
Here are the unofficial results of today's town election: The Board of Selectmen had two open seats, both for 3-year terms. Elected were Matthew Strauss with 1,676 votes and John J. Callahan with 1,289. Charles Patsios garnered 730 votes while Patryk Januszewski finished out of a seat with 472 votes. On the School Committee, two seats were up for grabs, both for 3-year terms. In a surprise, incumbent Jaren Landen lost. Here are the numbers in that race, in which challengers Amy L. O’Connor and Carin T. Marshall won seats. Swampscott Patch will have more on tonight's town elections, so check back with us.
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Resident Mary Bragan urges voters to support Carin Marshall for School Committee.
I am writing in support of Carin Marshall for School Committee. As a parent of 4 children- two who have already gone through the Swampscott school system and two who are currently at Clarke Elementary, I have seen the changes that our schools and school committees have gone through over the years. We are at a point now when a change is needed. Carin will bring a new perspective to the School Committee that would greatly benefit Swampscott’s students. As President of the Clarke PTA Carin has become a well known face to all the children and respected member of our community. She has shown herself, through her actions, to be a dedicated advocate for our kids. Carin believes that is important to be an active member of the community and …
Friday, April 26, 2013
We asked the three candidates for School Committee four questions to give you a sense of why they are running for office and the issues they think are important to the town. Their answers are below.
The School Committee has two open seats, both for 3-year terms. The candidates are Jaren Landen, Carin Marshall and Amy O'Connor. We put the four questions below to each candidate: Questions: 1. Please tell us about yourself — whatever you would like voters to know about you? 2. Why are you running? 3. a. If you are running for the Board of Selectmen, what is the most important issue facing the board? b. If you are running for the School Committee, what is the most important issue facing the committee? 4. How would you help solve this issue? Below are responses the candidates sent us: 1. Please tell us about yourself — whatever you would like voters to know about you? I am Jaren Landen, Ph.D, and I am running for re-election to the …
Saturday, April 13, 2013
Current and former School Committee members used words including "toxic" and "broken" describing the environment around school issues.
Reflection was a familiar theme at Wednesday's School Committee meeting, as current and former committee members said more reflection is needed in the wake of deep divisions, including those over changes to school administration. The district is seeking both an interim superintendent and a new high school principal. In the public comment portion of the meeting, former School Committee member Glenn Paster put the blame for administrative upheaval at the feet of the committee, which he described as broken. He said committee members had overstepped their authority. In a comment directed to incumbent Jaren Landen, he urged her to do some self-reflection on her duties if she is reelected. When it was her time to speak, the incumbent said …
Monday, March 4, 2013
Turnover in our schools.
The announcement this week that our high school principal, Layne Millington, has resigned to become principal of Marblehead High brings an opportunity for us to learn from the past and improve the process for selecting and retaining our next high school principal. There are many things that will always remain outside our control, but other factors we can and should control. We have an opportunity here. First, we are hearing quite a bit about turnover. People are wondering why Swampscott has so much. Is it a problem unique to Swampscott or part of trend that is occurring in towns and cities across America? If so, should we conduct searches or grow talent from within? Turnover is the new reality Before we go too far down that road, we need…
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
The web-based grading and schedule portal, 2X Aspen, is expected to be fully up and running for parents and students by fall.
Parent Jeffrey Blonder told school officials two years is too long to wait for the district to make use of its web-based student grading portal, 2X Aspen. "Two years is unacceptable," the parent said at last week's School Committee meeting. Superintendent Lynne Celli said the goal is to have the 2X Aspen portal fully operational, for students and parents, by fall. The portal will open March 1, but not be fully operational. The district bought the Aspen system a year and a half ago. The delay in getting it up and running has been because some teachers need training, professional development, to use the technology, the superintendent said. 2X Aspen represents a culture change, the superintendent said. "We need more time to do it right for…
Other agenda items at Wednesday's meeting include a first reading of the calendar for the next school year and a presentation by Wayne Spritz of the Renewable Energy Committee.
1) Town and School Meeting Watch: On Tuesday the Contributory Retirement Board is scheduled to meet in the Town Hall conference room at 8 a.m.. Also at Town Hall, the School Committee will meet in the office of the town administrator at 11:30 a.m. for budget talks; the Finance Committee meets at 7 in the first-floor conference room; and the Renewable Energy Committee meets at 7 p.m. in the second-floor conference room. In addition, Trustees of the Public Library meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Baldwin Room at the library. 2) Newsbit of the Day: There will be a public hearing on the school budget on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. in Room B208 at the high school. Other Agenda Items: 3) Swampscott Scholars: Nicholas Russo was among the students …
Monday, February 25, 2013
For those who were away and may have missed coverage of last week's School Committee meeting, here it is again along with the superintendent's contract for next year.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Tuesday's School Committee talks were at times tense as speakers confronted unanswered questions and sought stability for the school system and its students.
The School Committee’s first motion at Tuesday’s meeting was to offer Swampscott High School Principal Layne Millington the Swampscott superintendent’s position effective January 2014. The motion was later withdrawn by committee member Ted Delano. The committee’s last motion Tuesday was to form a search panel of Swampscott administrators and two School Committee members. Under the proposal, assembled in part by committee member Rick Kraft, the search panel would review candidates for interim superintendent and report their recommendation to the School Committee on March 27. The School Committee approved this motion. In between the withdrawn motion and the approved motion, many of the 40-plus people in the room at Swampscott High weighed …