Superintendent's Update July 22, 2014

Post date: Jul 22, 2014 9:11:00 PM

Superintendent’s Update July 22, 2014

I trust that the summer break is going well for everyone and that you have had the opportunity to spend time relaxing and enjoying time with family and friends. Our schools remain busy with over 150 students attending summer school or the extended day programs. The administrative team and school offices are busy with the many summer tasks, trainings, and meetings that are necessary to ensure a smooth start to a new school year. Maintenance and custodial personnel are very busy with summer cleaning. Following are a few items that I felt would be of interest to you at this time.

The summer months can be incredibly dangerous for children in cars. Even on a 70-degree day, with a window cracked, temperatures inside a car can quickly exceed 90 degrees, putting children in danger of heat related injuries and even death. According to data from San Francisco State University, so far in 2014, at least 17 children have died of vehicular heatstroke.

PHONE SERVICE: As previously posted, regular phone service to the Thomas C. Passios Building has not been restored. This impacts the current phone lines of 978-582-4100 or 978-582-4105. Please continue to call 978-582-4107 if you need to reach the Superintendent's Office, Special Services, or the Extended Day Program. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your patience as we make these changes which are necessary due to the upcoming construction.

MS/HS BUILDING PROJECT: Construction documents (60% progress level) were submitted to the MSBA on schedule and we are on track to submit the 90% package in August. The project received an extensive peer review from the Planning Board’s consultant and the project architect and engineers responded to all items contained in that review. We received an executed Project Scope and Budget Agreement from the MSBA. Shawmut construction personnel and surveyors will be on-site tomorrow to be ready for site enabling.

PERSONNEL CHANGES: Congratulations and best wishes to Ms. Mary Ann Weisman who recently announced her retirement. Ms. Weisman served as a special education teacher at the third grade level. Ms. Weismann served the students of Lunenburg for fourteen years working first in the elementary library and then for the past nine years as a special education teacher. Other personnel changes include:

Susan Charpentier: Special education teacher, grade 3, Lunenburg Primary School. Ms. Charpentier is a resident of Leominster and graduate of Fitchburg State University where she earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She is licensed as a special education teacher for students with moderate disabilities and will soon achieve licensure as a reading specialist as well. Ms. Charpentier comes to us from the Francis Parker Charter School.

Emily Clarke: Grade six teacher, Turkey Hill Middle School. Ms. Clarke is a Lunenburg resident with a master’s degree from UMASS Amherst. Ms. Clarke has significant experience in science education working as an education consultant and curriculum writer for the past four years. Ms. Clarke also was a K-8 math curriculum specialist for the Groton Dunstable Regional Schools as well as having taught abroad.

Tina Cooney: Administrative Secretary Lunenburg High School. Ms. Cooney has been employed in the district for 14 years. She was initially hired as a classroom aide at TCP in 2002 and in 2005 she was appointed attendance clerk/school activities bookkeeper in the office at LHS. In 2007 she was appointed as a Secretary at LHS. Ms. Cooney’s involvement and support of students goes beyond the front office. She also has served as an advisor to the LHS chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and also a class advisor for the Class of 2014.

Jacquelyn Favreau: First grade teacher, Lunenburg Primary School. Ms. Favreau is a Lunenburg resident and Fitchburg State University graduate. She has been a paraprofessional in the Lunenburg Public Schools for the past three years. Her experience prior to joining the Lunenburg team includes teaching at St. Bernard’s Elementary and working in the Acton Public Schools as a teaching assistant. Ms. Favreau has experience with Responsive Classroom protocols and positive behavioral intervention support.

Amy Jones: Special education teacher at Turkey Hill Middle School on the fourth grade team. Ms. Jones is a resident of Leominster and a graduate of Fitchburg State University with a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and a master’s degree in special education. She has been employed by the Gardner Public Schools for two years as a special education teacher and prior to that was a paraprofessional in the Concord Public Schools for three years. Ms. Jones worked at Lunenburg Primary School and student taught there in a kindergarten classroom.

Jimena Punales-Santiago: Spanish teacher at Lunenburg High School. Ms. Punales-Santiago resides in Fitchburg and recently received her bachelor’s degree from Worcester State University. She student taught at Lunenburg High School last fall. She is bilingual in Spanish and has extensive experience tutoring Spanish to college students at Worcester State University.

Justin Sparks: Mr. Sparks will be teaching second grade at Lunenburg Primary School next year. He has been with the District for six years as a teacher in third grade.

Leslie Spuria: Third grade classroom teacher, Lunenburg Primary School. Ms. Spuria has been employed by the district as a third grade tutor for the past two years and also taught in our summer program. She resides in Hudson, MA. Ms. Spuria received her bachelor’s degree in English from Arizona State University and her Masters of Education from Lesley University. Prior to joining the Lunenburg team she was the lead grade 6 teacher at a private school in Brookline, MA for 2 years.

Laura Wyld: Teacher of English as a second language. In this capacity she will serve students across the district. Ms. Wyld resides in Pepperell and was employed as a special education teacher in Fitchburg for seven years. She is licensed as an elementary math teacher, special education teacher (moderate disabilities) and English as a second language teacher for both elementary and secondary levels. Ms. Wyld has a bachelor degree in accounting from UMASS Lowell and a Master of Education from Lesley University.


The Department of Early Education and Care, and the Children's Trust are working together to help keep children and families safe this summer, with the following tips:

*Never leave children alone in a parked vehicle, even when they are asleep or restrained, and even if the windows are open.

*Make a habit of looking in the vehicle -front and back -before locking the door and walking away.

*Ensure adequate supervision when children are playing in areas near parked motor vehicles.

*Do things to remind yourself that a child is in the vehicle, such as placing your purse, brief-case or something else you need in the back seat so that you will have to check the back seat when you leave the vehicle.

*If you see a child alone in a hot vehicle, call 911. If they are in distress due to heat, get them out as quickly as possible.

Please help spread this important message by sharing these tips at home and at work, and with friends, parents, and caregivers of children. For more summer safety tips, visit

BUS FEES: The school district will continue to provide transportation at no cost for students in grades K-7 as per the current policy. However, there is a fee for students in grades 8-12 attending Lunenburg High School. The fee is $180.00 per student with a family cap of $500.00. The fee is waived for qualified students as outlined in the attached information which was sent to parents/guardians of grade 8-12 students earlier this week. If you have a question please contact the Lunenburg High School Main Office at 978-582-4115.