The Everett School Committee began 2014 by re-electing two leaders with more than 21 combined years of service to the students of the school district and a thorough understanding of the issues that are sure to confront educational leaders in the coming year.
Allen Panarese and Frank Parker, each of whom has served on the School Committee for more than a decade, were elected Chairman and Vice-Chairman, respectively, at Monday’s meeting at Everett High School. The nine-member Committee unanimously approved the re-election of Panarese, who represents Ward One, and Parker, who represents Ward Three.
One the major priorities of the coming year is to address the district’s need for a new elementary school to alleviate overcrowding in existing schools and to account for continued expansion of the school system’s student population in the coming years. “Our schools are housing more students than were intended when they were first constructed,” said Superintendent of Schools Frederick F. Foresteire. “While our teachers, administrators and staff are doing a great job of meeting the needs of our students, I am concerned about the impact our expanding enrollment figures will have on our schools three or four years down the line. The time to act is now.”
The Superintendent added that he is confident the School Committee and the Mayor’s office can work together to take the necessary steps to build a new school in Everett. “Our Committee members are very experienced, fiscally responsible, and dedicated to ensuring the future success of our district,” he said. “I look forward to the school system and City Hall working together on another successful school project.”
As is its custom, the School Committee began the New Year by electing its Chairman and Vice President at its first meeting in January. Panarese and Parker will both be serving their second consecutive years in their leadership positions.
“I want to thank the members of the School Committee for allowing me to serve another term as Chairman,” Panarese told his colleagues on the Committee. “This past year has been a learning experience for me and I couldn’t have accomplished this without the support of my fellow colleagues as well as the cooperation of Superintendent Mr. Frederick Foresteire and his administrative staff.”
Panarese then highlighted some of the many achievements of the 2012-13 school year, including:
• An agreement with the ETA of a three-year contract.
• Development of Teacher and Superintendent Evaluation Forms.
• Everett High School hosted the House and Senate Budget Committee meeting at Everett High School.
• The Devens School was reopened for Special Education programs.
• Increasing the number of extracurricular programs in the Pre-K to Grade 8 schools.
• Continued success in academic programs, such as Culinary Arts, Drama, and Music, in addition to success on the athletic fields for both boys and girls sports teams.
• The approval of two new athletic teams — Lacrosse and Rowing.
• The continuation of offering sports and programs without any user fees to parents.
• Members of the School Committee discovered inappropriate charges to our School Department from Charter School tuitions, leading to the reimbursement of $500,000 from the Deptartment of Education.
• In December, Senator Sal DiDomenico brought Senate President Therese Murray to view the Everett Public Schools. Both are big supporters of Everett’s Public Schools and in her own words, Senate President Murray praised the accomplishments of the Everett Public School System and was amazed at what we have accomplished here in Everett for the amount of money we receive from the State — money well spent.
“It is my pleasure to serve another term as Chairman of the Everett School Committee and together we will continue to work to give the children of Everett the education they deserve.”
Panarese has served on the School Committee for the past 12 years and has been the Assistant Chairman of the School Committee for the past year. He was also the liaison for the School Committee as a member of the Everett School Building Commission and was involved with the planning and construction of the new elementary schools and the new Everett High School. He has also served on the sub-committee on negotiations and has negotiated contracts with the various school unions.
He has been employed as a Respiratory Therapist at the Whidden Memorial Hospital in Everett for more than 20 years, and he presently serves as the Respiratory Department’s Clinical Leader. He received his Associates of Science Degree from Bunker Hill Community College and went on to major in Respiratory Therapy at Northeastern University and finished his studies at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Panarese is a lifelong resident of Everett as well as his wife (Carol Parisi) and they are both graduates of Everett High School, Class of 1974. Their two sons are also graduates of Everett High School. Jonathan graduated in the Class of 2004 and has his Masters Degree in Physician Assistant and Gregory graduated in the Class of 2006 and has his Bachelor of Science Degree in RN.
“To my colleagues on the School Committee, thank you for your confidence in nominating and reelecting me to serve as your Vice Chairman,” said Parker. “I look forward to working with Chairman Panarese and each member of the school committee, along with Superintendent, Mr. Foresteire and Assistant Superintendents, Dr. Stella and Mr. Obremski, as we continue to strive for the success of all students in the Everett Public schools in a safe, supportive environment that not only educates but inspires.”
Parker has served on the School Committee for more than 12 years. He has been a leader in helping the Everett Public Schools expand and enhance its programs in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. In particular, Parker was a driving force behind Everett High’s successful effort to launch a robotics team, a rigorous undertaking that requires community support, volunteers, and fundraising.
In closing, Parker said, “I would like to thank my wife, Kathleen for being my number one supporter, my mother Lena and late father Frank for instilling the value of education in me and my siblings. I also thank my extended family and friends for their continued support and encouragement and the voters of Everett for rewarding me the opportunity to serve them for the past 12 years.”