• The gift of a smile this holiday season

    Superintendent James F. Scully sent the following message to Haverhill School Department staff today as the holiday break begins:

    It’s about 11 p.m.  Thursday evening … and I just got home from attending a party for developmentally delayed adults. Driving home on 95 I was thinking of them and the  stories they shared with me about the  successes they were experiencing in their lives. These might seem like simple dreams, but they were major rays of light in their lives.

    On my drive home I thought back to the many classrooms that I had the privilege of visiting this week. It was certainly rewarding for me to see so many of you helping so many children understand the rich traditions of the many religions that celebrate various holidays at this magical time of year.

    So many of us are blessed … and some find this season most difficult as they are missing lost loved ones or are experiencing family tragedies that have tarnished their hopes and dreams. Despite these challenges, I was inspired by the spirit and warmth so many of you shared with those who harbor special wishes at this time of year.

    Some children very clearly stated they really didn’t like a long vacation, for they felt loved and so welcomed in your classrooms. I saw the emotion and joy in their faces at their concerts and in their reading groups …. sitting on the floor listening so attentively as you captured their imaginations through the stories you read to them. So many high school students traveled the halls with smiles on their faces and so many shared respectful greetings as I visited room after room.

    So what does it all mean? No matter what their limitations may be and no matter what level they inhabit in their educational journeys … it was clearly evident that so many of you are helping so many realize their dreams and taste success.

    At St. James in the HALT and Teach programs, the challenges are endless yet the positive and supportive manner of each and every staff member was moving. In so many classrooms, your demeanor was such that it truly allowed me to once again understand the magic of this special time of year.

    So whether we hear the hoofs of the reindeer on our roofs or participate in the traditions of The Festival of Lights, please know you are making a difference.

    As you depart to enjoy a well-deserved rest and spend precious moments with family and friends, I sincerely want to thank each and every one of you on behalf of every child and student in our system.

    Teachers, custodians, cafeteria staff, aides, secretaries, crossing guards, facility staff, principals and administrative staff, and all who lead and guide so many: Thank you …. and thank you for your kindness and support of my efforts.

    Julie,  Johnathan, and all in the central office share in my deep appreciation of your efforts and kindnesses.

    So as this day comes to a close, always know you have had the honor of enriching so many lives.

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to you and those you love,

    Jim Scully

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