Monday, July 30, 2012

Lynn School Committee Meeting: 8/2/12

There will be a school committee meeting at 6pm on August 2nd at 90 Commercial Street. The specific purpose of the meeting is a public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2013 budget. Prior to the public hearing, there will be a grants sub-committee meeting at 5:15pm; voting on the budget will occur after the hearing.

*For the full agenda, see:

*For the grants-subcommittee agenda, see:

Lynn Babe Ruth Team in Need of Financial Support to Attend World Series

The 16U Lynn Lightning All-Star team is in need of financial support in order to attend the softball World Series held August 9th - August 14th in North Carolina. The trip is estimated to to cost between $15,000 - $20,000. If you would like to donate, checks can be made out to Lynn Babe Ruth and mailed to:

Lynn Babe Ruth
P.O. Box 501
Lynn, MA 01905

Donations can also be made online here:

Here's a look at some of the girls that your donation would be supporting:

Meaghan Walker
Age: 17
School: St. Mary's High School
Favorite Thing About Softball: Being able to do what I love with good friends
Future Career/Life Goals: Veterinary Studies

Samantha Holey
Age: 15
School: Lynn English High School
Favorite Thing About Softball: Competitiveness of the game
Future Career/Life Goals: College softball & Medicine

Brooke Holey
Age: 15
School: Lynn English High School
Favorite Thing About Softball: The competition & camaraderie
Future Career/Life Goals: College softball & Nursing

Lauren Pohlmeyer
Age: 17
School: Lynn English High School
Favorite Thing About Softball: The coming together of the team as a whole, sort of family. You make life long friends and that makes it all worth it.
Future Career/Life Goals:  To be an athletic trainer and pursue sports medicine. Also to create a family and know that in my life I made something of myself, and that would make me entirely content.

Jessica Perez
School: Lynn Classical High School
Favorite Thing About Softball:  Intensity, team bonding.
Future Career/Life Goals:  Athletic Trainer & Attend a good college.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Lynn Softball Team Takes 2nd Place in New England Regional Tournament

The 16U Lynn Lightning All-Stars softaball team took second place in the New England Regional Tournament held in Lancaster, NH this past weekend. As the second place finisher, the team was invited to the World Series in North Carolina in two weeks. Participation in the series will be dependent on the team's ability to raise enough funds for the trip. Congrats again, girls!

This Day in History: July 23

-Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States, dies, 1885

-The Province of Canada is created by the Act of Union, 1840

-The Ford Motor Company sells its first car, 1903

-The Fascist Government of Italy bans the use of foreign words, 1929

-The Sandinista National Liberation Front is founded in Nicaragua, 1961

-Holidays: Revolution Day (Egypt); Renaissance Day (Oman)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lynn Hires Two Principals at the Middle School Level

Lynn Superintendent Catherine Latham announced the hiring of two new principals at the Breed and Pickering Middle Schools today.

  • Julie Louf has been assigned to Breed Middle School. B.A. in Psychology from Assumption College, Master's in Special Education from Salem State, CAGS in Educational Leadership from Salem State. Employed by LPS for 11 years as a special education teacher, guidance counselor, and vice principal at Breed for 4 years. Has directed the School Improvement Planning Team and is a member of the Parent School Council and the Breed Middle School Crisis Team. Goals for Breed include improved teaching through the development of professional learning communities, a renewed focus on program evaluation, further use of student data to improve instruction, and continued attention to school climate and community building.
  • Kevin Rittershaus has been assigned to Pickering Middle School. B.A. in English from Salem State, M.Ed in School Administration from Salem State. Employed by LPS for 14 years as an elementary music teacher, middle school English teacher, curriculum and instruction lead teacher and as vice principal of Pickering for 5 years. Goals for Pickering include increased focus on classroom instruction and the Common Core.

2012 Gubernatorial Elections

Besides the presidential election, there will be gubernatorial elections in 11 states and 2 territories this year.
  • American Samoa (Currently D)
  • Delaware (Currently D)
  • Indiana (Currently R)
  • Missouri (Currently D)
  • Montanta (Currently D)
  • New Hampshire (Currently D)
  • North Carolina (Currently D)
  • North Dakota (Currently R)
  • Puerto Rico (Currently R)
  • Utah (Currently R)
  • Vermont (Currently D)
  • Washington (Currently D)
  • West Virginia (Currently D)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

From the Comment Section: Lynn School Watch

It's interesting to read some of the commentary left on local blogs or the about issues related to the city of Lynn. Some of the comments reveal common sentiments about the city while others are questionable or incoherent at best. The following is a comment left on the local blog Lynn School Watch in response to an anonymous poster who made a statement about potentially selling her house due to dissatisfaction with the management of the city's public school system:

Sound like a good idea, but good luck selling your house. What's the selling pitch going to be for potential buyers?

Lynn's a rat infested city

It's run poorly by politicians only looking out for themselves and a mayor who hasn't done anything to improve it

It has some of the worst schools in the state and one of the lowest school districts in the state which is also run by politicians only looking out for themselves and a mayor who has not done anything to improve it

The property taxes are extremely high and continue to increase while the assessment of your home continues to decrease. And your hard earned tax dollars go into the pockets of those politicians and not to improve the city or schools

There is a huge influx of immigrants (many illegal) that continue to come to the city because of all the subsidized housing this city provides and the endless benefits this state provides to them

The crime and gang activity is everywhere throughout the city, even in the 'good' areas (although some claim it has decreased)

It is because of these reasons and so many more that you will either not be able to sell your house, or you will not get what you want or need for it. This city is a cesspool!

Is this a common opinion among Lynners? Is Lynn really a 'cesspool'?

You may also be interested in:

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Citizens' Thoughts on Improving Lynn

In a completely non-scientific poll, a few Lynn residents were asked the following:
If you could only change one thing about Lynn, what would it be?
Answers included
  • Education/Improving the School System
  • Public Safety/Crime
  • Increasing Voter Participation
  • Decreasing Inappropriate Public Behavior (sexual activity, drug use)
  • Better Transportation Access (direct access to highways and improved public transit including the Blue Line)

Monday, July 16, 2012

Characteristics of an Effective School Board

The Center for Public Education published a report which indicated that school boards or committees in high achieving districts exhibit habits and characteristics that are not only much different from their counterparts in low achieving districts but result in a much more effective governing body. The eight characteristics specifically identified are:

  • A commitment to a vision of high expectations for student achievement and quality instruction; defining clear goals toward that vision
  • Strong shared beliefs and values about what is possible for students and their ability to learn, and of the system and its ability to teach all children at high levels.
  • Accountability driven, spending less time on operational issues and more time focused on policies to improve student achievement.
  • Maintains a collaborative relationship with staff and the community and establish a strong communications structure to inform and engage both internal and external stakeholders in setting and achieving district goals.
  • Data savvy - they embrace and monitor data, even when the information is negative, and use it to drive continuous improvement.
  • Aligns and sustains resources, such as professional development, to meet district goals. According to researchers LaRocque and Coleman, effective boards saw a responsibility to maintain high standards even in the midst of budget challenges.
  • Lead as a united team with the superintendent, each from their respective roles, with strong collaboration and mutual trust.
  • Takes part in team development and training, sometimes with their superintendents, to build shared knowledge, values and commitments for their improvement efforts.

Alternatively, there have been some indicators of 'ineffective' school boards mentioned in the literature. These indicators include:
  • Members are only vaguely aware of school improvement initiatives, and seldom able to describe actions being taken to improve student learning
  • A focus on external pressures as the main reasons for lack of student success, such as poverty, lack of parental support, societal factors, or lack of motivation
  • Left out of the information flow; little communication between board and superintendent
  • Quick to describe a lack of parent interest in education or barriers to community outreach
  • Looks at data from a “blaming” perspective, describing teachers, students and families as major causes for low performance
  • Slow to define a vision
  • Did not hire a superintendent who agreed with their vision
  • Little professional development together as a board.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Lynn Hires Three New Elementary Level Principals

  • Irene Cowdell has been appointed to Ingalls Elementary School. Bachelor's Degree from Salem State (Elementary Education/Sociology); Master's from Salem State (Reading Education); Principal Apprentice at Commonwealth Leadership Academy 2011 - 2012. Employed by LPS since 1998 holding positions as classroom teacher, curriculum and instruction teacher and Reading First Literacy coach. Previously worked at Harrington and Ingalls.
  • Patricia Muxie has been appointed to Aborn Elementary School. Bachelor's Degree from University of California - Irvine (English/Elementary Education); Master's from Boston College (Curriculum, Instruction and Administration). Previously held positions as classroom teacher (all grades 1 - 8), principal at Decius Beebe K - 5 school in Melrose and Melrose district curriculum director.
  • John Licorish has been appointed to Washington Elementary School. Bachelor's Degree from Boston University (Engineering); Master's Degree from Simmons College (M.A.T.). Previously held positions as Assistant Principal of the Young Achievers Science and Math Pilot School and as the Math and Science Coordinator at the Smith Leadership Academy Charter School.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Lynn 16U Girls Softball Team Wins State Championship

Congratulations are in order for the 16U Lynn Lightning All-Stars softball team which won the state championship in Lawrence, MA on July 8th. The team will move on to the regional championships, held in Lancaster, NH, in two weeks. Good job, girls!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lynn Public School Grads Post An Impressive List of Post-Secondary Achievements

Despite their many accomplishments, there is an unfortunate and often unfair stereotype about students attending Lynn public schools. Most notably, there is a belief that most Lynn students are not destined to do much as a result of a variety of factors (poverty, parenting, poor academic preparation, etc.). I found the following comment on in response to a person seeking advice about LPS:

Lynn schools are the worst on the North Shore, unless you want your child to end up in a gang or jail, I would stay away from them. Although I know someone who went to school there and ended up at Babson, but that's an exception.

Lynn schools do indeed post lower test scores than surrounding communities. Additionally, there is likely a higher percentage of discipline problems in Lynn as well as increased psychosocial stressors and lower resources among other challenges within the Lynn student body when compared to towns like Marblehead or Danvers. Still, there are a significant number of Lynn students doing well in school and committing themselves to positive activities such as sports, volunteering or part time work in their spare time. Just this year, Lynn Tech grad Victor Vazquez won the Gates Millennium Scholarship while two students (one from English, one from Classical) were both accepted to Harvard for the fall. Thus, contrary to the opinions of some who opt out of LPS in large part so their children "can attend college," there are a significant number of Lynn public school graduates who have attended or are attending college and are posting an impressive list of post-secondary accomplishments. In 2011, 83% of Lynn students planned to attend a 2- or 4-year college/university. Below is just a small sample of the post-secondary accomplishments achieved by former Lynn public school students. While I acknowledge the problems that Lynn and its schools system face, it is also important to note the positive things that Lynners have accomplished in an effort to combat the stereotype which follows all of its residents regardless of the validity of these negative preconceptions.

Asma Adan (LVTI '12) - University of Massachusetts - Boston '16
Azatuhi Ayrikyan (LEHS '02) - Barnard College '06 (BA, Biology), Boston University '14 (PhD, Engineering)
David Ayrikyan (LEHS '05) - Boston University '09 (BS, Engineering)
Maria Aybar (LEHS '04) - North Shore Community College '14
Gabriella Aragon (LEHS '05) - New England School of Photography '09
Basant Badr (LCHS '09) - Boston College '13
Thahn Bui (LEHS '12) - University of Massachusetts - Amherst '16
Seth Buks (LEHS '02) - Northeastern University '07
Tricia Butland (LEHS '02) - Smith College '06 (B.S. Engineering), WPI '08 (M.S. Chemical Engineering)
Jon Caron (LEHS '06) - Merrimack College '10
Daniel Burns-McKernan (LEHS '04) - United States Air Force (2006 - 2011)
Chris Carroll (LEHS '06) - Bentley University '10 (BA)
Rasi Chau (LCHS '99) - Allegheny College/Mt Ida/UMASS-Boston/Lincoln College
Alex Chieng-Henson (LEHS '06) - Bentley University '10 (BA)
Lindsay Clements (LEHS '05) - Hawaii Pacific University '09 (BA, Psychology), Harvard University '12 (M.Ed, Educational Neuroscience); Primary Learning Specialist Punahou School (HI)
Shawn Cogan (LEHS '05) - Northeastern University '10 (BS, Behavioral Neuroscience)
Freddy Cole (LEHS '05) - Franklin Pierce University '09 (BS, Sports and Recreation Management, Minor in Marketing); Former College Baseball Player
Bill Connolly (LEHS '69) - Production Supervisor
Maggie Connolly (LEHS '09) - St. Andrew's University '13 (Equine-Assisted Therapy)
Paris Connolly (LEHS '02) - Salem State University (PR, web design)
Techla Connolly (LEHS '96) - Salem State University '00 (BA English/Secondary Education), Gordon College '08 (MAT), Salem State University '12 (CAGS Educational Leadership); Revere Public School Teacher
Marki Conway (LEHS '05) - Merrimack College '09 (BA, Communications), Syracuse University '10 (MS - Public Relations, 4.0 GPA)
Zachary Conway (LEHS '05) - Massachusetts Institute of Technology '12
Nikkie Corzo (LVTI '11)  - Massachusetts College of Art
Briana Cronin (LEHS '05) - Salem State University '10, American International College '13 (Master's Elementary Education)
Matthew Curtis (LEHS '05) - Harvard College '09 (BA)
Meredith Cyr (LEHS '05) - Curry College '09 (BA Communication, magna cum laude)
Phanny Duong (LEHS '02) - Tufts University '06 (Civil Engineering), University of Michigan '13 (MBA)
Lan Duong (LEHS '05) - Simmons College '09 (BA)
Lien Duong (LEHS '03) - Tufts University '07, University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill '14 (MBA)
Elsadig Elsadig (LCHS '05) - Yale University '09
Tyler Ferguson (LEHS '04)- BU '08 (Psychology B.A.), Northeastern University '14 (PhD School Psychology)
Gabriella Galeazzi (LCHS '11) - Providence College '15
Cara Garrity (LCHS '10) - Tufts University '14
Ashley Garuti (LEHS '06) - Merrimack College '10 (BA)
Jules Gouthro (LEHS '06) - University of New Hampshire '10
Kim Hartshorn (LEHS '06) - Merrimack College '10
Tamar Hayrikyan (LEHS '03) - Harvard College '07 (BA, Government), London School of Economics and Political Science '11 (MSc International Political Economy)
Mina Healy (LCHS '11) - Massachusetts Institute of Technology '15
Sheryle Henry (LEHS '06) - Salem State University '10
Annalisa Hereford-Plourde (LEHS '10) - American Career Institute '13
Cleo Hereford (LEHS '05) - Wellesley College '09 (BA, Psychology, cum laude)
Eva Hidalgo (LEHS '11) - Empire Beauty School/North Shore Community College
Shaniqua Holcombe (LVTI '10) - University of New Haven '14
Dennyna Huynh (LEHS '03) - Emmanuel '07 (BA), Hamline University School of Law '12 (JD), George Washington University School of Law '13 (LL.M)
Denny Huynh (LEHS '04) - Bentley University '08 (B.S.), Bentley University '09 (M.S.F.)
Nisa Im (LVTI '09) - Worcester Polytechnic Institute '13
Amy Johnson (LEHS '05) - Salem State University '09 (BS, Criminal Justice), Western Governor's University (MBA, Management and Strategy) '12
Casey Johnson (LCHS '10) - Harvard College '14
Kenyora Johnson (LEHS '06) - Simmons College '10, Boston University School of Social Work '12 (MSW)
Minori Keefe (LEHS '06) - University of Rhode Island '10
Malynda Kidney (LEHS '05) - Salem State University '10 (Elementary Education/Sociology), Salem State University (Master's, Elementary Education); Lynn Public School Teacher; Lynn English Girls Soccer Coach
Alexandra Kolwicz (LEHS '11) - Northeastern University '16
Joshua Ladd (LEHS '05) - Salem State University (BS, Finance); Financial Analyst
Emily LeBlanc - (LEHS '05) - University of Tampa '09 (BA, Secondary Math Education), University of Massachusetts Lowell grad student (Curriculum Instruction); Teacher at Trition Regional High School & Travel Club Supervisor; Starting AP Stats program
Marissa Long (LEHS '04) - Harvard College '08
Cecilia Lujan (LEHS '05) - University of Miami/Universidad del Norte (BA/Masters Program) '11
Jacqueline Ma (LEHS '12) - Harvard College '16
Ashley Messina (LCHS '06) - Harvard College '10
Rachel Pennellatore (LEHS '04) - Worcester Polytechnic Institute '08
Samantha Picone (LEHS '05) - Merrimack College '09 (BA)
Anna Proshko (LEHS '06) - Worcester Polytechnic Institute '10
Hunter Richard (LEHS '08) - Harvard College '12
Lismary Rodriguez (LEHS '05) - Wentworth Institute of Technology '09
Melanie Scully (LCHS '01) - Boston University '05, University of Colorado-Denver '14 (PhD, Biology)
Rachel Scully (LEHS '05) - Emmauel College '09
Aurora Shahini (LEHS '05) - University of Massachusetts-Amherst '09 (BS, Kinesiology/Biology, Minor in Psychology), Master's student - Occupational Therapy
Jessica Starbard (LEHS '09) - Northeastern University '13
Stephanie Starbard (LEHS '12) - Bridgewater State University '16
Nelson Terry (LEHS '06) - Salem State University '13
Jonathan Thibault (LEHS '05) - Boston University '09
Kathy Tran (LCHS '12) - Harvard College '16
Ashley Turner (LEHS '09) - Harvard College '13
Sue Vancelette Walker (LCHS '82) - Salem State University '15/'16
Victor Vazquez (LVTI '12) - Worcester Polytechnic Institute '16
Ann Walker (LEHS '04) - Salem State University '08 (BA, summa cum laude), Salem  State University '13 (Mental Health Counseling); Lynn Public School Teacher

*If you know of others, please leave a comment and those names can be added.

    Monday, July 2, 2012

    Lynn Students Attending a Number of Charter Schools

    According to Massachusetts Department of Education's fiscal year 2013 projections, the city of Lynn will serve as the sending district for 685 students to 13 different charter schools both in and outside the city (Prospect Hill is one charter school with two campuses).

    SchoolCityGrades Enrolled# of Students
    Benjamin Bannekar CambridgeK - 6 6
    Community Charter - CambridgeCambridge7 - 124
    Edward BrookeBostonK - 81
    ExcelBoston5 - 81
    Gloucester Community ArtsGloucester2 - 82
    KIPP LynnLynn5 - 10566
    Marblehead CommunityMarblehead4 - 88
    Mystic Valley RegionalMaldenK - 1213
    North Central Charter EssentialFitchburg7 - 121
    Phoenix CharterChelsea9 - 1226
    Pioneer Charter - ScienceEverett7 - 1216
    Prospect Hill AcademyCambridge6 - 123
    Prospect Hill AcademySomervilleK - 519
    Salem AcademySalem6 - 1219


    *All Data Taken from: