• Superintendent recalls sacrifices of Pearl Harbor

    Reading the names of the casualties at Pearl Harbor.

    Reading the names of the casualties at Pearl Harbor.

    Seventy-four years ago today, our nation was struck by the same forces of evil that threaten us today.

    Then, those jealous of our freedoms and democracy rallied to attack us at Pearl Harbor while Germany already had invaded France.

    Today, as we live in the shadows of September 11, we pause to salute the almost 2,500 killed and close to 2,000 wounded at Pearl Harbor.

    While the numbers of that Great Generation diminish, as educators we should always make sure our students know of the resolve of that generation that sacrificed everything to combat such evil.

    Thank you for taking the time on so many occasions to allow so many to hear and learn of the freedoms we cherish and the sacrifices made to maintain our hopes and dreams.

  • From our home to yours: Happy Thanksgiving

    As staff and students departed on Wednesday for the four-day Thanksgiving holiday break, Haverhill Schools Superintendent James F. Scully sent this message to the school family and to all families, friends and supporters in the district:

    As we start this special season of the year, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your efforts on behalf of so many in our schools. Some are touched with sadness, for family and friends they have lost this past year, but I believe we have to be thankful for the gifts they have left us and the blessings we have shared.

    These past few days, I have visited many classrooms, and I spent most of my day yesterday at Haverhill High School.  As I went through the classrooms,  I met so many young men and women who are a product of your efforts.  As you reflect during this Thanksgiving holiday, always be mindful that so many are appreciative of the path you have helped prepare for them.

    On behalf of the students of Haverhill, Assistant Superintendent Julie Kukenberger and Director of Strategy and Accountability Jared Fulgoni … I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving.

    I would like to share information that Tom O’Brien has written about the athletic arena. Many of you know the student athletes he writes about, and so you know that they are standouts in the classrooms as well as exhibiting strong  character traits and a demeanor we can all be proud of.  See his message HERE.

    Again, Happy Thanksgiving,


  • A Veterans Day message from Superintendent Scully

    scullymemdayJust think for a moment; how many times in life do we step forward to help when we are not asked?

    For generations, many have stepped forward to serve this great country without being asked. Your grandparents, moms and dads, sons and daughters, uncles and aunts, sisters and brothers, fellow teachers, aides, principals, administrators, security guards, and so many among us … they were not asked – they just stepped forward.

    And when they took that oath that reads in part …

    “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office upon which I am about to enter; So help me God.”

    … They knew they maybe called upon to give ALL

    It is my understanding that two thirds of our nation’s homeless are veterans. Many wait for days for medical care and the suicide rate is so high.

    So, as we take time this Wednesday to reflect on what Veterans Day is all about, please today and tomorrow take the time with your students to discuss and share a story or event that illustrates the value of stepping forward.

    In the photo above, the smile on that veteran’s face is so telling; he has stepped forward and so has that child.

    May God continue to bless all those who have stepped forward and keep safe those who continue to do so.

    Thank you,

    Jim Scully

  • Superintendent exhorts city to come together to help Hillie football team make history

    Haverhill Public Schools Superintendent James F. Scully sent a message to families across the city on Thursday, urging them to attend the October 16 Hillies football game.

    A victory in this game, vs. Billerica Memorial High School, and a Methuen Rangers loss this weekend, will make the Hillies MVC Division 2 Champions for the second season in a row. This would be a historic feat, Mr. Scully said.

    Here is the full text of the superintendent’s message:

    “I write to inform you that on Friday night, Hillie Nation has a chance to make history.  The Hillies will be playing against Billerica at Trinity Stadium beginning at 7:00 p.m.  A Hillie win and a Methuen loss will give Haverhill its second MVC Championship in back to back seasons.

    “Please let our Hillies know what it would feel like to take the field with the marching band playing the fight song and have the bleachers filled showing the support from the school and city.

    “It would be a wonderful testament to the hard work of our coaches and student athletes for them to feel the backing of the entire Hillie Nation and the City of Haverhill by taking the field to a “packed house” this Fridaynight; it could make all the difference to these young men.

    It does not matter if you like football or not, whether you have lived in Haverhill your entire life or have just moved here, or no matter what your age. The team motto is “One Team, One Goal, MVC Title” and there’s a good chance that could happen Friday night with a win against Billerica.

    Please join us and be part of Haverhill’s luster. A great group of student athletes are on their way to victory and it would be great for all in our city to be part of their success.


    Jim Scully


  • Rosh Hashanah

    This coming Sunday night at sundown our Jewish brothers and sisters begin their celebration of Rosh Hashanah…

    Last year I shared a message from a well known writer – Brad Hirschfield – His thoughts and words express so well a sentiment we should share and reflect on…and thus I thought I’d share his profound reflections with you again…

    Rosh Hashanah is not only New Years according to the Jewish calendar, but also celebrates the birthday of the world, or as other rabbinic traditions have it, the birthday of the first humans, as recorded in the Book of Genesis.  Either way, Rosh Hashanah teaches important truths about the biblical story of creation — truths we all need, regardless of faith, faithlessness, or any of the myriad ways we think about how either the world or the human race came into existence…

    We face many challenges in the world today, and most of us have plenty of personal challenges as well, so this is no Pollyannaish claim that we can simply hug them all away.  It is simply a reminder, as old as Genesis itself, that we are more connected than we often realize, and that in reminding ourselves of those connections, we can find ways to make this year better than last – whatever calendar we happen to use.”

    Therefore….I hope you all join me in wishing all of our Jewish brothers and sisters a Happy New Year.

    Jim Scully

  • Superintendent: Bravery and compassion linked to freedom

    On Thursday, April 15, Haverhill Public Schools Superintendent James F. Scully shared this message with district staff. In it, he reminds us all that bravery and compassion are linked to freedom, drawing parallels between the courageous men who fought in the American Revolution and the first responders who rushed to the aid of those injured in the Boston Marathon tragedy in 2013.

    Here is the full text of the superintendent’s message:

    Two years ago, the Boston Marathon bombings rocked the City of Boston and caring and loving people from around the world.

    The tragedies and heartbreak still exist in the hearts and minds of many, and will for years to come.

    I hope you take a moment today to discuss with your students the blessings we have in this great nation of ours and how the notion of freedom is a target for those whose focus is harming us and the United States of America.

    We should also point out the role that first responders provide us in our hours of need. It is through the love, bravery, and kindness of so many that the notion of freedom remains strong in our hearts and minds.

    Monday, we will celebrate Patriots Day, where those various attributes were first demonstrated in the battles at Lexington and Concord. 

    As is etched on a monument at Haverhill High School, ”It takes fire to temper steel but adversity to temper a man.” So, too has adversity strengthened our resolve to do what is right as we face our daily challenges.

    I hope you all have a wonderful vacation and I trust you will highlight the significance of today to your students … and the attributes of serving as those Patriots did in the first battles of the American Revolutionary War.

    Today, so many continue to mirror those qualities for the safety and well being of us all.

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