Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester today announced the members of the Southbridge Local Stakeholder Group, a temporary advisory body that will create recommendations for a district turnaround plan that will be drawn up in the coming months.
On January 26, 2016, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education declared the Southbridge Public Schools to be a chronically underperforming (Level 5) district. Under state law, that designation triggered the creation of a Local Stakeholder Group with representatives from specific constituencies.
The members of the group are:
- Sarah Biron, teacher at Charlton Street Elementary School
- Heather Bish, Southbridge Public Schools special education supervisor
- William K. Bishop, Southbridge School Committee member (designated by School Committee Chairman Scott Lazo)
- Kristin Mayotte, director of education services at Youth Opportunities Upheld (YOU), Inc.
- Donna Joyce, business service representative with the Workforce Central Career Center – Southbridge
- Michael Keough, teacher at Southbridge Middle/High School
- Maria Murray, assistant principal of West Street Elementary School
- Lillian Ortiz, vice president of strategic enrollment development and student engagement at Quinsigamond Community College
- Amelia Peloquin, parent
- Ashleigh Prince, senior at Southbridge High School (designated by Southbridge Public Schools Senior Administrator Timothy Connors)
- Juli Robb, teacher at Eastford Road Elementary School
- Ron San Angelo, Southbridge town manager
- Pat Spinelli, parent
- Joan Sullivan, president of the Southbridge Education Association
- Rebecca Sweetman, associate principal of Southbridge Middle School
- Evelyn Velez, co-director of Head Start at the Worcester Community Action Council, Inc.
- Kerry Walker, parent
- Dave Williams, teacher at Southbridge Middle/High School
The Southbridge Education Association chose the teachers appointed to the Local Stakeholder Group, and the district's parent-teacher association chose the parents.
Commissioner Chester chose the administrators from a list of volunteers. Commissioner Chester also selected the representatives of state and local social service, health, child welfare and local workforce agencies.
The Local Stakeholder Group meetings will be open to the public, and the group's first meeting will be from 4-6:30 p.m. February 23 in the Cole Avenue Auditorium, 25 Cole Ave. The dates, times and locations of the group's other meetings will be posted on the Southbridge Public Schools website.
Over the span of 45 days, the group will meet and give recommendations to Commissioner Chester and the receiver, who will be named in the coming weeks.