Excellence in the Everett Public Schools

Special to the Independent

The Everett Public Schools launched its 2022 Black History Month schedule of events with the Cultural Arts Expo on February 2. Hosted by the Young Black Excellence Society, the virtual event featured a variety of submissions in different art forms. Chief Equity Officer Cory McCarthy facilitated the expo, introducing each artist and encouraging discussion about their work.

Emerging Los Angeles-based filmmaker Richard Montiero delivered a special message to EHS students, followed by a screening of his short film, “B E A T.” The film is a powerful look at the forces that greatly determine the paths we take.

First place winner Zakiah Walker’s work.
First place winner Zakiah Walker’s work.

The first place finisher is artists Zakiah Walker, secon place is Selma Moutaouakkil, Neeysa Denning and poets Gabby De Gouveia, tied for third place. All winning EHS students walked away with prizes, including Airpods for Zakiah and free lunch for Selma and five of her friends, and free lunch for Neeysa and Gabby and a teacher of their choice.

“There are not enough superlatives to describe the talents and abilities of our students,” said Mr. McCarthy. “Our expo is a meaningful way to showcase this work and, more importantly, give it the attention and consideration it deserves.”

Lotus Flower

By Neeysa Denning

 Lotus Flower in a tree

 Right across the big blue sea.

In the tree attached to a blossom, the flower lies alone.

 Other flowers having fun

blowing in the gleaming sun.

Flowing in the spring breeze as bees lie on their petals, colored gold like shining metals.

Oh so suddenly, a squirrel! No a flying squirrel!

Soaring in the tree, playful as can be.

“Little Lotus Flower, why so blue?

Usually I oversee a pink-ish hue…”

 Lotus Flower shyly drooping her petals explained…

“I’d like to play too with all the others,

but I suppose they all know each other…

I wouldn’t want to interrupt, as the flowers merrily erupt!”

But how would little Lotus know if she didn’t try to introduce and wave her petals “hi”.

Sometimes ones can be so shy, but the flower has a lot to offer.

Lovely oh so lovely smile when she’s making art. Oh and not to mention her humongous heart. Terrific sense of humor as she laughs brightly. Up helping fellow flowers lay to sleep nightly. Super incredible in every single way.

“If you want to make a friend or two Lotus, then make some now today!”

Sometimes it is hard to introduce oneself, but determined Lotus leaped and yelped. Roses, Tulips, Daisies, galore. Dandelions, Lilacs and many more!

All of which stared, but stared with a smile.

“Come sweet Lotus, let’s sway for a while!”

Acceptance and fun with friends of many…

Is much appreciated but still just as any…

 that kind flying squirrel who was brave to reach out, to a Lotus in need of some help.

 “So you see young Orchid, I found friends and family! You can too, just don’t be afraid to be … yourself young Orchid through and through…”

And if you ever need it, I’ll be a friend to you.

 The Kite and the Line

By Gabby De Gouveia

I am a creature of the clouds:

As boundless and untold as the ends of

Rainbows you’ve once scowered to find.

You are a creature of the Earth:

 The perfect sphere that fills my view.

 You became the ground, the order, the breath –

The very being of me has since flowed from you.

Refrain and I’ll float away.

Part with me and you will fall.

We are connected, and such has been, since we’ve gone through it all.

There is no danger between us, for we are always safe.

For when we fight, we fight with love.

 For us, the heavens will always shine above.

So till the end of time, and for as long as we’re kind,

I am your Kite, and you are my Line.

Opportunities For Staff

In its continued efforts to recruit teachers, the Everett Public Schools is being diligent to look at an obvious and vital place: The Everett Public Schools.

“We have talented and dedicated staff members across all levels of the district,” said Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani. “We have to encourage and support present EPS employees who are interested in taking the steps needed to become a certified teacher. Failure to do so would be a disservice to our students.”

This year saw the district launch an Emerging Educators Program for substitute teachers, paraprofessionals, and other staff members who are interested in becoming certified teachers. In the first round of mentoring in the fall of 2021, 14 EPS employees participated in a five-part mentor program. Sessions were held virtually in the evenings and featured presentations and question-and-answer sessions led by EPS leaders in special education, English Learners, guidance, equity, and curriculum and instruction.

Those who completed the course received a $200 voucher to take the MTEL Communications and Literacy test, which is a mandatory step for anyone who wants to be certified to teach in Massachusetts. And the 14-person cohort will continue to receive professional mentorship as they pursue a teaching career.

CTE Partnerships

Everett High School has launched an exciting partnership with the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology (BFIT) that enhances and expands the district’s commitment to providing Career and Technical Education opportunities to students.

The BFIT partnership allows juniors and seniors to earn certificates and degrees for free — while remaining on track to earn EHS diplomas.

Currently, a small group of students are enrolled in the Institute’s Electrical Engineering and Automotive Technology programs. In March, a second group of students will attend BFIT to pursue health or HVAC training.

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