EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 27, 2013

Haverhill School Committee candidates


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — Haverhill School Committee

Vote for 3 for 4 years

*denotes incumbent

QUESTIONS

1. Why should voters choose you?

2. What are the two most important issues facing Haverhill schools? Why?

3. What is your opinion of the quality of education in Haverhill schools? How can it be improved?

Joseph Bevilacqua*

Age: 62

Address: 46 Lambert Ave.

Occupation: President/CEO of Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce

Education: Tilton, Hunking, Haverhill High; Masters of Public Administration NU; post graduate work Harvard

Family: Married, two sons

1. I have worked to protect and use your tax dollars wisely and effectively while working to provide the best education for your children and grandchildren in preparation for a career of their choice and not just a job. I have the most experience in education, government and business.

2. Ensuring that each child reaches their maximum potential as a well-rounded student benefiting from academics, sports, music, arts, etc. Providing the best education for our students at a cost affordable to Haverhill taxpayers.

3. Education is continually improving with qualified teachers, new computers and textbooks, major school buildings improvements in each neighborhood across the city, rehabbed high school, new Bradford, Pentucket, Silver Hill and Golden Hill; new affordable Hunking planned, reduced sport/club fees. Continual focus on the number one priority: student achievement.

Paul Magliocchetti*

Age: 47

Address: 15 Kimball Hill Drive

Occupation: Attorney

Education: College of the Holy Cross, Suffolk University Law School

Family: Wife and three children

1. My leadership has led to a transformed School Committee, all day kindergarten for all, a strategic plan to follow children from K-12, a reformed and improved maintenance department and restructured contracts saving Haverhill thousands every year.

2. Cost control and improved classroom education. Costs of the Hunking Middle School, exploding special education costs and costs of administration must be monitored and controlled to prevent fiscal deficits. We must provide support for teachers, MCAS improvement and the transition to the new federal test to establish a stronger, more appealing community.

3. Haverhill offers a great education with all day K, Classical Academy, STEM Academy, improved technology, the largest number of AP courses in the Commonwealth, and vocational training. We can improve by hiring and retaining the very best teachers and by becoming more efficient and productive.

Maura Ryan-Ciardiello

Age: 37

Address: 18 Haley Road

Occupation: Teacher by profession, currently stay-at-home mother

Education: Haverhill High School, 1994; Salem State College, 1999; University College Cork, Ireland; Cambridge College Graduate Program, nearing completion of a master's degree in education

Family: Married, three children

1. I'm a life long resident of Haverhill. I've been through the Haverhill Public School system as a student, I've worked in the HPS system as an educator and I'm a proud parent of a HPS student. I have the fundamental background, education and experience to bring to the committee. I respectfully ask for your vote on Nov. 5.

2. Recently, we've had issues with special education funding due to an oversight and facilities and buildings that lack funding for renovation and replacement. There are areas of student achievement in standardized test scores that need rigorous focus for improvement.

3. Haverhill has a proud tradition of excellence, diversity and accomplishment. Our children have excelled in academics, the arts, music and sports. However, we are not without challenges that threaten our ability to deliver resources to our children so they can continue to achieve and inspire us. We need to work harder to seek the proper funding so that our children are given the best education that they deserve.

Raymond Sierpina*

Age: 67

Address: 484 Kingsbury Ave.

Occupation: Retired Haverhill educator

Education: Northern Essex Community College, Suffolk University, UMass Lowell

Family: Married, three children, eight grandchildren

1. An experienced and successful Haverhill teacher and principal. My philosophy is "investing in our schools is an investment into our future." A positive voice for public education based on standards, data, and accountability. Expect monthly expense reports so to have "transparency" in spending, as well as agenda items for meetings.

2. Building a new Hunking. We have 400 students being schooled in an inappropriate environment. We as taxpayers cannot put any more money into this building. A new Hunking will enhance the entire Bradford neighborhood and better Haverhill as a community. Prevent slipping lower than Level 3. We do not want a state takeover of any of our schools.

3. Quality of Education in Haverhill Public Schools is tops. Teachers, principals and the entire school community work with a variety of students and issues. MCAS, social issues, parental dysfunctionality just to name a few are addressed with professionalism and respect. Our team is second to none. Getting more parents involved in PTO meetings and report card conferences. That would make a huge, positive impact.

Gail Sullivan

Age: 65

Address: 18 Hawthorne St.

Occupation: Teacher and school administrator. Currently teaching at Northern Essex Community College and the University of New England. Former teacher, high school principal, curriculum specialist, assistant superintendent and superintendent.

Education: B.A. from University of Massachusetts Amherst, M.Ed from Fitchburg State, Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Leadership from Suffolk University

Family: Married, one son

1. My background in curriculum, teacher evaluation, special education, facilities and budgeting. I have spent 40 years working to improve the lives of children through good schools. Schools can level the playing field for students and provide them with the means to a successful career and life.

2. Student achievement and facilities. Haverhill's students have the capacity to succeed, but the assessment shows that many students are not yet proficient in reading or math. Students deserve schools that are safe and well-maintained. The district is dealing with the crisis of an unsafe school because of the lack of long range planning.

3. The School Committee must establish a vision for academic rigor and excellence and maintain and improve school buildings and grounds. There should also be strong mentoring programs for new teachers and professional development that focuses on instructional strategies that work, so that all our children are successful.