EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 15, 2012

New student rep intends to speak out

By Paul Tennant

---- — NORTH ANDOVER — Nick Cincotta, the new student representative on the School Committee, made it clear he will be outspoken.

Cincotta, a North Andover High School junior, attended his first meeting of the committee last night. He said fellow students are concerned that the food they are served in the cafeteria does not appear to be as plentiful as it was last year — yet they’re paying the same amount.

Principal Carla Scuzzarella explained that schools have been given directives by the state to reduce the amount of calories they serve.

Cincotta told the committee students are pleased with the improvements made in the high school library.

State law requires that each school committee include a non-voting student representative. Yet it’s not uncommon for a student representative to attend a school board without saying anything.

In a brief interview withThe Eagle-Tribune, Cincotta said that’s not going to be his style.

“I don’t have a problem with public speaking,” he said. Indeed, he produces and performs his own hip-hop music, so he’s not about to be intimidated by five School Committee members and a few administrators.

Cincotta, a member of the multi-championship Scarlet Knights wrestling team who competes in the 132-pound class, plays the piano and works part-time as a landscaper. He said he may pursue a career in marketing.

He sold himself to the school system’s top two administrators, Superintendent Kevin Hutchinson and Assistant Superintendent Gregg Gilligan. Both complimented him on his debut presentation before the committee.

Cincotta was appointed to the position by Scuzzarella. While he’s a high-schooler, he represents all North Andover students.

Scuzzarella and other principals summarized their school improvement plans last night. All are committed to having their teachers meet monthly or more often to review students’ progress.

Greg Landry, principal of Atkinson School, said one of his goals is to set aside more time for math and reading practice for those who need it. Richard Cushing, leader of Kittredge School, said pupils who appear to be at risk of failing will be referred to a Student Assist Team.

Sargent School Principal Edward Foster has established a Climate Committee at his school to promote a respectful environment.