Jocelyn Poste a Graduate With Many Titles

When one addresses Chelsea High graduate Jocelyn Poste, they wouldn’t be incorrect to call her ‘Madame President,’ yet they could also refer to her as the Salutatorian of the Class of 2019, or for another angle, as the best female athlete of the year.

Or if none of those are of interest, she could certainly be called a passionate community activist.

It’s hard to find one title to pin on Poste, 18, but that is what defines her time at Chelsea High.

This year, Poste was one of the handful of students that fought hard to get the graduation exercises back outside at the Stadium. And even in the face of adversity, they continued.

Poste said it was an experience that will shape her after high school.

“I never really got involved with politics until that happened,” she said. “There were plenty of people who said we couldn’t do it. We kept at it and it worked. I talked with Damali Vidot (Council President) about it and she said we had to come back and take her seat when we’re older. I don’t know if I would get into politics, but I want to be a voice for the people certainly.”

Poste began her career at the Silber ELC and then went to the Kelly School and the Clark Avenue Middle School.

She will attend Union College as a Posse Scholar, meaning she will have a full ride to the New York school as well as a support network. She said she was not sure about going out of state to college at first, but the Posse Scholarship was too good an opportunity to pass up.

There, she will focus on biology so she can pursue her goal of being a dermatologist.

That dream stems from a video that was popular in middle school that went viral. It was called Dr. Pimple Popper and it was something she said pointed her in that direction.

She said she wanted to thank her parents, Steven Poste and Angela Burgos, for supporting her through high school.

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Class of 2020 has Personality, President Says

Lisandra Molina said her class is yet another that should make an impression next year when they become seniors.

Molina, the junior class president, said they have learned a lot from the Class of 2019.

“I feel I learned a lot from the senior class, especially in NHS,” she said.

The class has already shown an acumen for raising money, and has quite a bit saved to help with the prom and other events. That has come through being a bit creative.

One thing they did was raise money by cleaning the classrooms of teachers for the end of school, and selling Pupusas to teachers to raise funds as well.

Certainly, she said, they will have a voice.

“We all have a lot of personality,” she said. “If you put us all in a room, there is no quiet person in there, especially when it comes to history. Our personalities don’t clash. They complement one another.”

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Chelsea School Committee to Choose Superintendent Tonight

The Chelsea School Committee is poised to offer a position to one of the three superintendent finalists tonight, May 9, at a special meeting that is expected to conclude the search process.

In formal terms, the Committee can only offer the position to their favored candidate. That candidate has to accept the offer, and then a contract has to be negotiated and ratified before the matter is completely official.

The three candidates include:

•Anthony Parker, Weston High School principal.

•Ligia Noriega-Murphy, assistant superintendent of secondary schools in Boston Public Schools.

•Almudena Abeyta, currently the assistant superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the Somerville Public Schools.

The three candidates have been through a whirlwind tour of the City over the last two weeks, engaging in community forums and School Committee interviews.

The final interview will take place on Thursday evening, with the Committee convening to make the decision afterward.

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‘Seussical’

Isabella Blasi, playing a Cat In The Hat, peers from the Seussical Helicopter during the Kelly School’s performance of ‘Seussical’ last Friday night, April 26, in the auditorium. The annual spring show was a hit for students, family and faculty.

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School Committee’s Garcia Fires Back After Hernandez Letter

About one month after former School Committeeman Julio Hernandez – the vice chair of the Committee – suddenly resigned, citing a lack of interest in the Committee from other members, one member is firing back to say the School Committee is committed.

Kelly Garcia.

In his letter last month, Hernandez cited financial reasons mostly for his resignation, but also indicated that many members of the School Committee didn’t show up to meetings and didn’t have the best interest of the kids at heart.

In a letter to the Record this week, member Kelly Garcia said she disagreed with that summation and defended her record.

“I persevered and fought against every obstacle that came my way, and I continue to serve on the committee and stand right by my students both in my classroom as a Special Education teacher, as an advocate for increased funding at the State House on Beacon Hill, and the School Committee member representing District 7,” she wrote. “I never gave up on the students of Chelsea because once again, and in Hernandez’s own words, ‘our students’ education is no JOKE.’

“I was appalled to read such negative commentary by a former elected official,” she continued. “A person who has chosen to break his commitment to the Chelsea School District and its students should not be now using social media to undermine those who are left to choose a replacement, while at the same time, having to choose a new Superintendent.”

The letter also indicated that she believed it was Hernandez that failed the students of Chelsea, urging him to move on with dignity.

“Hernandez is an aspiring professional, and I ask that he leave this position with dignity and respect for himself and for his former colleagues who continue to work hard attending the majority of the meetings, asking thought-provoking questions, and searching for the next superintendent,” she wrote.

Hernandez’s resignation came just before the resignation of School Committee Chair Rich Maronski, who also voiced frustrations with the fact that many members don’t attend meetings. He is continuing to serve out through the end of the superintendent search.

Hernandez resigned immediately after the letter.

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Empty Bowl Fundraiser

The year 2019 marked the 8th annual Chelsea Empty Bowls fundraiser
to help raise awareness to and funds for combatting food insecurity. Here, Julia McDermott, Yahaira Guzman, and Sylvester Valdez hold their recently purchased bowls during the event on Thursday, April 18, at the Williams School.

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Northeast Voke Invited into MSBA’s Feasibility Study Phase for New Building Project

Superintendent David DiBarri is pleased to announce that the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) invited Northeast Metro Tech to participate in a feasibility study for its new building project.

Northeast Metro is operating out of a more than 50-year-old building that requires educational, capital and maintenance improvements.

The MSBA – a state agency that works with communities to support educationally-appropriate, flexible, sustainable and cost-effective public school facilities –= invited Northeast into the feasibility study phase to explore potential solutions to identified problems.

During the feasibility study phase, Northeast and the MSBA will determine a project manager and designer to conduct a study of the current building. Once the study is completed, Northeast will then apply to the MSBA’s building project reimbursement grant program.

“We’re thrilled to have been invited by the MSBA into the feasibility study phase for our building project,” Superintendent DiBarri said. “Our hope is that we will be able to construct a new building that will better meet the demands of 21st Century learning.”

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Finalists Superintendent Search Committee Forwards Three Names for Consideration

The Chelsea School Committee announced this week the Superintendent Search Screening Committee (Screening Committee) has forwarded the names of three finalists for the Superintendent of Schools vacancy for consideration.

After the application deadline of March 15, 2019, eighteen applications were forwarded to the Screening Committee and on March 25, after a thorough review of the written application materials, the Screening Committee met and engaged in an extended discussion of each candidate, ultimately reaching consensus to invite seven candidates in for an interview. All candidates accepted the invitation and were interviewed during the evenings of April 1, 2 and 3.

The 13 members of the Screening Committee reached unanimous agreement and forwarded the following three educators for consideration as the next superintendent of the Chelsea Public Schools (in last name alphabetical order).

•Almudena (Almi) G. Abeyta

Dr. Almi Abeyta is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment for the Somerville Public Schools. She was a kindergarten teacher in Albuquerque, New Mexico for seven years and was the Principal of the Donald McKay K-8 School in East Boston for four years prior to assuming a role as the Assistant Academic Superintendent for Middle and K-8 schools in the Boston Public Schools for two and a half years. Dr. Abeyta then served as the Deputy Superintendent for Teaching and Learning in the Santa Fe New Mexico Public Schools for five years and in July 2017 she began her role as the Assistant Superintendent of Schools in Somerville. Dr. Abeyta has a Bachelor of Arts, Communication, and Journalism from the University of New Mexico, two Master’s degrees from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) in School Leadership and Education Policy and Management, and a Doctor of Education from HGSE in the Urban Superintendents Program.

•Ligia B. Noriega-Murphy

Ligia Noriega-Murphy is currently the Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools in the Boston Public Schools. Ms. Noriega-Murphy was a Spanish teacher for three years at the Donald McKay Middle School in Boston. She then was a founding faculty member and chair of the world languages department at the Boston Arts Academy for five years. In 2004 she became the Headmaster at Excel High School in South Boston and served in in that role for six years before becoming the Assistant Academic Superintendent for High Schools. In 2012 she was an Assistant Superintendent on Assignment as the Headmaster of The English High School in Boston, where she served for five years. Ms. Noriega-Murphy has a Bachelor of Arts in Art History from UMass Boston, a Master’s degree in Management from Cambridge College, and a Certificate of Graduate Study in Education Leadership from UMass Boston.

•Anthony A. Parker

Anthony Parker is currently the Principal at Weston High School, where he has served in that role for the past thirteen years. After several years as a journalist, Mr. Parker was a high school history teacher in the Newton Public Schools for 13 years (at Newton South and Newton North High Schools). From 2000-2006 he served as a Housemaster at Newton North High School, prior to his move to Weston. He also has been a Massachusetts Education Policy Fellow at the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy in Boston. Mr. Parker has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology-Anthropology from Earlham College, a Master’s degree in Teaching and Curriculum from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and has additional graduate studies at Boston College.

The school community will have the opportunity to meet these finalists when they visit Chelsea during the week of April 29 and to attend the School Committee interviews with the finalists during the week of May 6. The schedule of these district visits and School Committee interviews will be communicated when it is finalized.

The Chelsea School Committee said they would like to especially thank the members of the Screening Committee for their dedication and commitment to this search process.

The Screening Committee met on five different evenings to prepare, review,

interview, debate, deliberate and decide on the finalists presented to the Chelsea School Committee. Each member played a key role in ensuring that all individual members were listened to and their perspective considered. Those members were Jeanette Velez, Priti Johari, Monica Lamboy, Peter Pappavaselio, Margo DiBiasio, Anibal Santiago, Lisa Lineweaver, Tom Ambrosino, Louise Campanella, Kathryn Anderson, Ilana Ascher, Angelica Bachour, and Marisol Santiago.

The Screening Committee was assisted in this process by search consultants from the Edward J. Collins, Jr. Center for Public Management at UMass Boston.

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Council, School Committee Seeks to Fill Vacancies Quickly

The Chelsea City Council and School Committee held a joint meeting on Tuesday night, April 9, to get a quick step forward on filling two vacancies on the School Committee.

Members Present included City Councilors Roy Avellaneda, Damali Vidot, Bob Bishop, Luis Tejada, Enio Lopez, Judith Garcia, and Yamir Rodriguez.

School Committee members present were Frank DePatto, Rosemarie Carlisle, Jeannette Velez, Rich Maronski, Lucia Henriquez, Ana Hernandez, Kelly Garcia, and Yessenia Alfaro.

Due to the recent resignations of School Committee Chairman Richard Maronski and Vice Chairman Julio Hernandez, the Chelsea City Council and Chelsea School Committee are looking to fill their seats.

“This is a job that should be taken seriously and hopefully we get someone that’s responsible and will show up,” said Maronski.

“It’s unfortunate that we have these two sudden resignations, but I’m hopeful as it has allowed for significant dialogue around expectations and the representation our families deserve,” said Council President Damali Vidot. “I am looking forward to working with the School Committee to fill the vacancies.”

Any residents of District 3 or District 5 that are interested in serving the remaining unexpired terms through December 2019, are asked to submit their resumes and letters of interest to City Council and Chelsea School Committee at: LKoco@Chelseama.gov or mail to City Council at 500 Broadway, Chelsea, MA 02150.

Candidates must be registered voters in their respective districts and must be able to pass a CORI. The Chelsea City Council and School Committee will be accepting resumes until Friday April 26, and will conduct interviews on Monday April 29. Anyone that lives in either District 3 or District 5 is encouraged to apply. If you aren’t sure of your district, please visit HYPERLINK “http://chelseama.gov” t “_blank” chelseama.gov under the City Clerk’s department for a map or call the City Clerks office at (617) 466-4050.

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