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Everett school joins in AEW events

The antics of Wally the Green Monster thrilled kindergarten and first-grade students.
The antics of Wally the Green Monster thrilled kindergarten and first-grade students.

The NEA, MTA and celebrity participants who visited the Parlin School in Everett on Nov. 21 learned alongside the students as they participated in an “Educator for a Day” program marking American Education Week.

While NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and Boston Mamas writer Christine Koh took in a lesson on area and perimeter in Beth Barrett’s fourth-grade math class, MTA President Paul Toner and radio and TV personality Billy Costa joined Stacy Schiavo’s seventh-grade social studies students in an exercise on how societies set their rules.

Dana Barros, a former Boston Celtics player, folded his frame into a seat in Ryan Taylor’s second-grade class and jotted down ideas with the rest of the students about a story’s plot and setting. Later, Barros was in his element as he talked to students playing basketball in Jason Abruzzese’s physical education class.

Joining the festivities was Boston Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster, who danced around the classrooms of thrilled kindergarten and first-grade students.

NEA President Dennis Van Roekel and MTA President Paul Toner serving lunch.
NEA President Dennis Van Roekel, right, and MTA President Paul Toner served lunch to Jett DuVal, 11, at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Northampton Wednesday.

The event on Thursday, as well as events and receptions on Wednesday in Northampton, were among American Education Week celebrations taking part across the state and the nation. AEW has been commemorated around the country since 1921 to recognize excellence in public education.

“These events are fun, but also an important way to honor and keep in mind the hard work educators do throughout the school year,” Toner said.

Following their classroom appearances in Everett, the visitors and other guests gathered for a reception for school employees. Van Roekel presented the school with a $500 check for library books.

Among those attending were state Senator Sal DiDomenico; Everett Teachers Association President Kim Auger and ETA Board member Peter Lahey; Everett School Superintendent Frederick Foresteire; Parlin Principal Michelle Massa; and MTA Retired Members Committee Co-Chair Richard Liston, a former teacher at Parlin.

On Wednesday, Van Roekel and Toner dished up lunch to students at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Northampton to honor the important role of the nation’s ESPs on Education Support Professionals Day.

The cafeteria visit was followed by an informal reception in the school library that allowed Van Roekel, Toner and Kevin Concannon, U.S. undersecretary for the Department of Agriculture, to meet the school’s ESPs. School librarians there were also presented with a $500 check from the NEA for library books.

On Wednesday afternoon, Toner and Van Roekel also attended the second annual Safe School Summit, which was presented by the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office in Northampton and co-sponsored by the MTA and the NEA. The program offered educators the knowledge and tools they need to meet the needs of young people who are dealing with mental health issues.

After the summit, MTA members were invited to attend a reception in honor of ESPs across the nation.

Van Roekel said the weeklong nationwide celebration of American Education Week “recognizes all of those around us who are working to make public schools great for every student.” Excellent public schools “are a basic right, and our responsibility,” he said.

Click here to view photos from the Educator for a Day event on our Flickr site.