The Everett School Committee began 2016 by re-electing two veteran leaders who will continue to help guide the Everett Public Schools (EPS) through a period of tremendous growth and progress.
Frank Parker, a longtime Ward 3 committee member who has been instrumental in the district’s ongoing attempt to secure funding for a new elementary school, was re-elected Chairman, while at-large committee member Berardino D’Onofrio, who brings a strong financial background to his post, was elected Vice Chairman. Both were unanimous selections at Monday night’s regular meeting inside the Everett High School Library.
In addressing his colleagues, Parker detailed some of the many highlights of the just-completed 2014-15 school year:
- The recent announcement by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education that all of Everett’s schools are ranked either Level 1 or 2 in the state’s rigorous and comprehensive five-tier academic rating system.
- The continued growth of the Devens School, the district’s fully-accredited special education school. The Devens provides extensive programs and services, and it is staffed by a host of professionals and specialists.
“In December of 2014 they had 40 students,” Parker said. “This past December it grew to 60. In parallel, the number of total students being sent out of district for their education went down 20 percent. The school also went through a stringent recertification process of which will be discussed later tonight. All this means more kids are being taught here in this city allowing us to better manage the taxpayer’s special education dollars.”
- The progress the EPS has made in securing funding to build a new elementary school. Currently, school leaders are working very closely with the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA), which establishes a series of steps and benchmarks a district must meet before it receiving funding for a new building.
“This new facility will be the new learning center of excellence for over 800 students,” Parker said. “Adding this new school to our roster will ease over crowding, allow us to maximize our resources and ease the physical burden on our existing infrastructure.”
- The launch of the STEAM Academy at Everett High School. (STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics). The academy, said Parker, “is off to a fantastic start with 24 students learning many new skills that cover a wide range of classes and content area while utilizing 21 century tools and processes.”
Parker also thanked his “wife, champion and cheerleader, Kathleen, for her ongoing support,” as well as his mother, Lena, late father Frank, the residents and voters of Everett, and his colleagues for electing him to another term as Committee chairman.
Parker, who joined the School Committee in June of 2002, is the Inside Sales Manager for TTI, Inc. He served on the Everett City Council from 1986-1996. He is a graduate of Everett High School and Boston University.
D’Onofrio, a Vice President of Merchant Services for Bank of America, was elected to the School Committee in 2011. Previously, he served two terms on the Everett City Council.