As we close out the 2015-2016 school year, I would like to thank all of you for your continued support of our schools. I would also like to share some information with you pertaining to recent accomplishments in our District.
As I mentioned in my annual letter to the towns, the 2015-2016 school year has been both productive and groundbreaking. Our year has been productive because with the passage of a school budget in late fall, the District had the ability to add several key positions to assist our students and teachers in the educational process including the hiring of a Deputy Superintendent, three middle school counselors, and several teachers to offset large classes at Mountview and the high school. I want to thank all of our communities for making education a priority and supporting a budget that will help our children become well prepared to be successful in our globally competitive world. This year has also been groundbreaking because of the completion of the new Mountview Middle School. The state of the art design and technology found in the new building will be a source of pride for our District for years to come. The staff and students have been in the building since April and are very appreciative of the wonderful learning space they now have the opportunity to be in every day.
This spring, we have spent time on the development of the WRSD Strategic Plan. Our school district is well poised to provide a visionary strategic plan that will take us into the next five years of learning in all schools. We are committed to a collaborative, open planning process in which feedback and discussions are vital components of synthesizing our unified goals. The plan will assist the District as budgets are created and developed for both short and long term action plans. A community-wide survey and a series of focus groups with all stakeholders have helped to inform the strategic planning process and we are close to the creation of the final document. Thank you for your input and support in this process!
Earlier this month I was honored to attend the Wachusett Regional High School graduation on June 9th at the DCU Center. I had the chance to congratulate 531 graduates as they were called to accept their diplomas. The graduates made it this far only with the support and guidance of both educators and families through their years in school. We are very proud of all of graduating seniors and are confident that, whatever path they choose, their time in Wachusett will assist them in becoming the next leaders of tomorrow.
This year, the new FY17 budget remains yet to be approved as we enter into a new fiscal year on July 1. Two of the five Member Towns did not approve the budget requested by our district which means that we will be working with a 1/12th budget until a budget has passed or the Commissioner of Education sets the budget for the District. The School Committee is now in the process of revisiting the FY17 budget and will attempt to come to consensus on an amended budget very soon. The School Committee budget includes full year staffing appropriations for the new staff which were approved last October, as well as funding for technology, instructional support, and building maintenance in order to offset the decreases in funding which occurred over the past several years. I do not enjoy writing about the budget at this time of year, but I feel that it is important to share this information with all of you as we attempt to provide our students with a first class educational experience
I would also like to honor those who have worked diligently to make our school district a wonderful place for kids. I wish the best of luck to all of our staff who are retiring and beginning another chapter in their lives. I especially want to thank our principal retiree, Judy Evans, principal of Mayo Elementary School. Judy has been the principal of Mayo for ten years and prior she served for six years at principal of Central Tree Middle School. I had the privilege of working with Judy as her assistant principal for three years while at CTMS. Wachusett could not have asked for a more professional, hardworking, and child-centered educator. I would like to wish Judy, and all of our retiring staff, a happy and healthy retirement. Best wishes to this year’s retirees:
Denise Aldrich, WRHS
Rodney Brown, WRHS
Ralph Caouette, WRHS
Elizabeth Chase, Thomas Prince School
Beverly Cochran, Chocksett Middle School
Mary Collette, Thomas Prince School
Michael Constantinou, WRHS
Charlotte Cote, Mountview Middle School
Susanne Ekberg, Paxton Center School
Judith Evans, Mayo Elementary School
Nan Fellows, District-wide
Barbara Helfrick, Dawson Elementary School
Jerry Horton, WRHS
Marie Horton, Dawson Elementary School
Ann Hudson, Dawson Elementary School
Miriam Jenson, WRHS
Susan Lauder, Chocksett Middle School
Rosemary Laverdiere, WRHS
Horatio Nicastro, WRHS
Patrice Nowak, District-wide
Carolyn O’Malley, Central Tree Middle School
Susan Pacek, Mayo Elementary School
William Perry, WRHS
As we move forward, I would like to welcome Julie Carter to the Wachusett community as the next Principal of Mayo Elementary School. Julie is a long time educator with a broad level of experience that will help to accentuate the many wonderful opportunities already made available to students.
The end of the year is always bittersweet, especially for those parents whose children have graduated from the high school or are moving from one school to another. In my speech to the high school graduates, I reminded them to thank all of those who helped them get to this point in their lives. I also want to thank all of you for your support and dedication to the students of Wachusett. Have a great summer and enjoy your time relaxing with family and friends.
Darryll McCall, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools