Saugus school district refines its goals

Almost 100 office managers, head custodians, teachers, principals and other district employees were in attendance Thursday night for the Saugus Union School District's special meeting of the governing board, which focused on refining the district’s goals and vision for the future.

After welcoming a new superintendent this year, employees in the Saugus Union School District convened to refine the district’s goals and future vision for the years ahead.

Almost 100 office managers, head custodians, teachers, principals and other district employees were in attendance Thursday night to discuss the programs that they’d like to start, stop and continue at school sites.

“The start of a superintendent’s tenure is a great opportunity for us to review and refine our district goals” board president Christopher Trunkey said. “Tonight, we want to hear about what is important to you, ideas that you want to share and any concerns you have.”

Following a statement from Superintendent Colleen Hawkins and a dinner, attendees collaborated to discuss their suggestions in small groups before each group presented their proposals to the room.

Saugus Teacher Association’s Corresponding Secretary Carleen Shute, front, was in attendance Thursday night to discuss the programs that she’d like to start, stop and continue. She was selected by her group to present to the room full of principals, teachers, custodians and other employees of the district.

A few groups of teachers and district officials recommended increasing the number of Teachers on Special Assignment at school sites, as well as Chromebooks, while others advised the district to cut down on the extensive training that administrators undergo throughout the year.

The addition of behaviour specialists for general education students and more district-wide collaborative events were other popular suggestions.

Amy Alexander of Helmers Elementary School had the crowd erupting with laughter when she stepped to the microphone and listed her group’s suggestions in a rhyme, and another group’s suggestion to quit hitting the reply-all button on emails was another comedic moment that led to thundering applause.

“I want to be able to make sure the decisions we make as an organization are truly representative of the district, and not of a single voice or location,” Hawkins said before adding that she will take the information from Thursday night and analyze it along with the suggestions from last month’s Coffee with the Superintendent meetings.

“I’m really thankful for the information and opportunity,” Hawkins said prior to the conclusion of the event. “I look forward to learning, growing and achieving more together.”

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