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Telegram & Gazette (Massachusetts)


CLINTON — After months of work on the budget, the Clinton School Committee Monday night asked Superintendent Steven Meyer to include a full-time athletic director in the upcoming budget proposal, while not affecting the budget.

School Committee member Ed Devault proposed adding the position, saying he felt it was a "priority enough that it should be in the first draft" discussed with the Finance Committee later in the week.

Devault said a full-time athletic director could hire and evaluate coaches, taking that responsibility away from building principals. In addition, the position would be able to take a district view, "working toward the varsity program."

"Marketing, fundraising and alumni coordination could be part of this position," Devault said, adding, "If done properly, it would almost pay for itself."

Devault said the position could create fundraising opportunities, like a Hall of Fame, and could do more student outreach and help anticipate emerging sports.

"It would be nice to be ahead of the game," he said.

Meyer said he thought community and alumni engagement would be a part of the job. The job description would have to be written.

School Committee member Brendan Bailey was the lone dissenter for the vote. He said he favored a prior suggestion, that the alternative high school program administrator also serve as athletic director.

The alternative high school, which would bring some students back to a pilot program at the administration building, being paid by the savings in out-of-district tuitions, was approved by the School Committee, but only for phase one, which would not include hiring an administrator, so the athletic director aspect was also on hold.

In addition to approving Meyer to go ahead with finding funding for an athletic director, as long as it did not increase the budget, the School Committee also approved the pilot plan for the alternative program, which would "service those students who are unable to succeed in a traditional high school setting," according to the proposal. The school would be housed in the Central Office Building and run Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 4 p.m. and include an online curriculum.

Meyer said he still holds his principal certificate, so he could oversee the program at least temporarily until the program can be proven. If it is successful, and there are more students than can be maintained by the staff proposed, the administrator would be hired and paid for through the additional savings of having more students not sent to out-of-district programs.

Honoring achievement

The School Committee honored its students of the month and staff member of the month during the meeting.

Clinton Elementay School Principal Robert Rouleau introduced second-graders Mariah Kerl and Bryce Neil who were honored for "improving their independent reading comprehension and fluency by one grade level in six months."

The students were assisted by homeroom teacher Mazie Falconer and reading specialist Joanne Brodmerkle.

"We expect them to continue with all their hard work and we want to thank their parents for all their support," Rouleau said.

Clinton Middle School Principal Annmarie Sargent presented seventh-grader Kimberly Joyce, who "has really risen to the occasion without anyone asking." Now, Sargent said, Kimberly has been noticed and they now ask her to help the other students.

"She is always someone who listens and takes advice," Sargent said.

Clinton High School student of the month was junior Charles McGinn.

"There isn't a show that goes on without Charles," Principal James Hastings said.

Class Adviser Ellen Welsh called Charles "a perpetually and extremely positive force. He is here, there and everywhere, asking the questions the advisers should have thought of, but didn't."

Clinton Middle School Vice Principal Robert Seed introduced the employee of the month, Jackie Tencati, "who does everything." Seed said Tencati works in the lunch room, with the afterschool program and as a "friend and volunteer who is 99.5 percent behind the school."

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March 30, 2018


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