Teacher Milestones Recognized by School Committee

Reading, MA — The School Committee celebrated the teachers and staff in the district who have reached milestones in their careers on June 14. Teachers who have achieved professional status or have ten, twenty, or thirty years of service were recognized. Highlighting these were Lauren Fusco and Mary Johnson at Joshua Eaton Elementary School with thirty-five years and thirty years of service, respectively. Also, William Macindewar at Parker Middle School is celebrating thirty years of service. The committee also celebrated teachers and staff who are retiring. Of note, Marie Kiley at Joshua Eaton is retiring after thirty-two years in the district.

Laura Noonan, board member of the Special Education Parents Advisory Committee (SEPAC), updated the committee on SEPAC’s activities during the past year. Noonan highlighted several highly attended presentations, including three basic rights presentations held in conjunction with the special needs organizations in Andover and North Andover. Noonan also noted a presentation by the Bureau of Special Education on the appeals process. “It is worth doing again,” Noonan commented. Noonan also praised Assistant Superintendent for Student Services Jennifer Stys for being responsive to issues that SEPAC raised. “The district is really listening,” Noonan concluded.

Superintendent John Doherty shared that last week was the final week of pool testing for COVID-19 in the schools. During the pool testing, 2,954 tests were administered with twenty-four positive results. Doherty credited the testing as a tool that aided in keeping schools open once students were back in person. Doherty continued to report that nine hundred and eight Reading Memorial High School students have been vaccinated, with another clinic coming next week.

Doherty shared that staffing issues have prevented the district from offering more programs this summer, though he did share that the summer extension program is almost fully staffed. Doherty concluded his update thanking all district staff for their efforts this past school year. “It was a true total team effort this year,” Doherty exclaimed.

The committee voted 6-0 to allow upper limit transfers between cost centers to allow for some end-of-year purchases. Chief Financial Officer Gail Dowd shared that she would report on these purchases at an upcoming meeting. The board also voted 6-0 to adopt the first reading of a green vehicles policy. The second reading will occur at the June 21 School Committee meeting. This is part of a Select Board initiative for Reading to become recognized as a “Green Community.”.

The School Committee adjourned at 8:30 pm.

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