Feelings of grief and gratitude
A message to Haverhill Public Schools staff:
My heart was broken this weekend as I saw the hurt and felt the pain of Tim Englehardt’s family as they entered Sacred Heart Church for his funeral. To see the tears on the faces of so many of his classmates from Haverhill High, such great young men and women standing side by side, their hearts, filled with love, faith, and promise, yet crushed by Tim’s passing. Like his football coach and so many of his teachers in attendance, all were there out of love and respect, torn by the loss of a truly wonderful young man.
Again I stood in the back of a church, St. Elizabeth’s in Seabrook, witnessing the baptism of a baby girl and baby boy. I saw the joy of their families and the smiles on the faces of the congregation as the priest held each baby up so that all could see the cherished gifts of life.
Leaving the church I began to think about Timothy Englehardt, a member of the HHS Class of 2010, about the promise and dreams he held. I thought about what he must have been like as a classmate and as a student who was so obviously loved by so many, as Jean Ray eloquently expressed in her Words of Remembrance. I thought about those two beautiful babies, the journey ahead for them, and the roles each of you play in the journeys of so many children.
Later I returned home and as I set out to walk my beloved dog Brannon, I received a text with a photo of one of our schools with a banner stating “Level 1” … highlighting the achievements of our schools that have achieved a Level 1 status based on the 2014 MCAS testing. I reflected on the significance and the link among those three moments, and I thought about what I said to you during my opening day remarks, “You have a sacred trust …”
As brief as young Tim’s life was, so many of you gave him hope, promise, and the tools to succeed. Your efforts brought that great smile and wit to Tim and to so many others. Those two infants have begun their journeys, and along the way they will meet wonderful people like you. People who care and adapt to change, who take the time to reflect, to embrace new concepts and ideas, and to bring those skills to the classrooms of our cities and towns, so that those that sit before you can take pride in the collective effort to succeed.
This week, take a moment to reflect, to make sure we are doing our very best to bring out the talents and hopes of all who sit before us. The challenges are great but the rewards last a lifetime … let’s make sure we give all that chance …
Thank you again,
Back to School Message from Superintendent James F. Scully
On Monday morning, I spoke to the Haverhill Public School Department staff about the upcoming year. (For the video of this presentation, please click HERE.)
I showed them a short clip of a husband-and-wife duo who sang recently at Hampton Beach, and explained that I spoke with them after their performance. Both mentioned that they were public school graduates, and the man said he went to school in Lawrence.
I got around to asking him who his favorite teacher was.
He responded, “Mrs. White.”
I said, “She taught at the Hennessy School,” and he said, “Yes, she was my kindergarten teacher.”
I said, “Then I must have been your principal!”
He didn’t remember me, but he sure remembered Donna White.
He said, “When I was a little kid, growing up in a tough neighborhood in Lawrence, she was the first person to be nice to me. And the whole year in her class, she really cared for me. And even as I went through the subsequent years, she always took the time to genuinely say ‘Hi.’ “
I reminded the gathered staff, which included teachers, principals, office workers, technicians, facilities folks, aides and others, that when you extend a kind moment to a child, you leave a lasting imprint.
“There is not one of us who chooses this profession for any other reason than to make a difference in the life of a child,” I told the gathering. “Even those in noninstructional roles delight in the part they play in seeing the smile and glimmer of hope and promise in the eyes of those entrusted to our care.”
Each day, thousands of Haverhill parents and families send their children to us. We are mindful of the great gift that we are given when we work with children and assume the sacred responsibility of educating them.
I am proud to say that the Haverhill Public School Department staff has the sincere desire and drive to do what’s right, and fully realizes that those who enter our schools on August 26, 2014 will be the doctors that treat us in our golden years, the teachers that educate our grandchildren, the nurses who care for us as we seek comfort, and many others will address the political and scientific solutions that our generation had a hand in creating.
May our wise and prudent choices make a difference in their lives.
I renew my vow to do my very best to improve the way the schools are operated and managed, and to ensure that together we give our very best to our students.
I wish everyone a wonderful school year.
James F. Scully
Public Hearing on Haverhill Public Schools – FY15 Budget
A public hearing on the FY15 Haverhill Public Schools’ Budget will be held on Thursday, June 12, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. in the Theodore A. Pelosi, Jr. City Council Chambers, Four Summer Street in Haverhill, Massachusetts 01830.
Superintendent Scully’s message to the Class of 2014
Haverhill Public Schools Superintendent James F. Scully told graduates’ families that they have raised a “distinguished group of young men and women” as members of the Haverhill High School Class of 2014 received their diplomas.
Superintendent Scully invoked the memories of the D-Day invasion of Normandy and the Boston Marathon bombings in his address, urging students to “run toward the problem” and to face challenges head-on in the days and years ahead.
He thanked Dr. Mary Malone, the district’s assistant superintendent, who leaves Haverhill this month to take the superintendent’s job in the Ayer Shirley district.
For Superintendent Scully’s complete address, see below:
A Memorial Day message
This weekend we pause to remember … so many among us have served … so many of those who have served this great country have lost relatives, classmates, and friends.
Please take a few moments with all of your classes to discuss and explain to them the sacrifices made and how we as a nation, a city, and as individuals should pause, reflect, pray, and be grateful to these brave women and men.
May we all remember ….
Have a safe and pleasant weekend.
Thank a nurse today
Superintendent James F. Scully sent this message to school district staff:
Today is International Nurses Day, and is celebrated as the conclusion of Nurse Appreciation Week.
The nurses across this land are recognized for their labor of love with so many entrusted to their care. Those of us who have experienced their kindly care know well their importance in our time of need: their gentle hand and reassuring words, all founded in their knowledge and skills. Whether we’re a child in the nurse’s office for a banged knee in the schoolyard or an adult going through the recovery period from a stroke or surgical procedure, it is a nurse that carries us over the hurdles.
This quote, from poet Maya Angelou, sums up the principles that nurses live by: “As a nurse, we have the opportunity to heal the heart, mind, soul and body of our patients, their families and ourselves. They may not remember your name but they will never forget the way you made them feel.”
Please take a moment to thank the nurses in our schools who care for so many.