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Future of Hudson Public Schools highlighted

Hudson – The direction of the Hudson Public Schools in the decade ahead was the focus of the Jan. 11 School Committee meeting. As the search for a new Hudson High School (HHS) principal is winding down, activity for building the new JFK Middle School is becoming a daily part of life.

Hudson Schools Superintendent Dr. Kevin Lyons described the search for a new high school principal by the eight-member search team consisting of school facility, administrators and parents as “incredible” with great participation by school faculty and the public.

From May 2010 through September 2010, eight semifinalists were reduced to the three current finalists: Charles Caliri, the dean of students at Lexington High School, Joshua Otlin, the current assistant principal at HHS, and Brian Reagan, the Shrewsbury High School principal.

Final-round interviews will be held with a daylong visit to the high school, where candidates will meet with the school leadership team, faculty, superintendent’s advisors and community council members. Candidates will also attend a faculty forum and meet with outgoing Principal John Stapelfeld before a final meeting with the superintendent. The day finishes with a dinner with school leaders and School Committee members, followed by a public forum.

“We are looking to come to closure on this on the 21st [of January],” Lyons said.

In his “Values and Visioning: HPS in the Next Decade” presentation, Lyons addressed the goals for the next 10 years.

“This month I am going out to schools looking to examine the values our district holds most dear,” Lyons said, “and ask people where they see the Hudson Public Schools in a decade.”

The school district has five goals: Continuous improvement of student achievement; the continuous improvement of a safe and supportive school environment; increased parent and community engagement; improvement to the health and wellness of the students and staff; and increasing the clarity of the strategic direction of the district and the development of infrastructure as seen with the JFK Middle School project.

The stated goals met with approval from committee member Lynn Valcourt.

“When I looked at these five areas, four of the five were original key goals of school improvement,” she said.

Lyons concluded his presentation by stating that student achievement is what is most important to the district. He promised that it would continue to be the most important factor with the development of the new JFK school and the future goal of achieving one-to-one computer to student education within the next decade.

Committee member Tammy Ducey reported that review of computer aided design options for the new JFK school is underway and phase one of the project is moving into high gear. The new school is slated to receive students for the first time in fall of 2013 and is designed with a 50-year life expectancy.

The Hudson School Committee bid farewell to “a very special individual to Hudson Public Schools,” Lyons said. Rob Richardson has stepped down from his role as Intel East Coast education manager to take a leadership role at the nonprofit “Change the Equation” in Washington, D.C.

“Rob has been a conduit of much funding within the district,” Lyons said.

Richardson’s efforts include multiple technology grants, mentoring programs for students and in particular young women interested in technology, support of the high school math club, job shadow programs, and teacher training in technology, among others.

The board voted to accept a $500 donation from BJ’s Wholesalers that Lyons has earmarked to the Farley School, and anticipates rotating the donation around schools in the years ahead. The donation pleased members of the School Committee.

“We welcome BJ’s to Hudson and thank them very much for this,” School Committee Chair Duane Searles said.

Short URL: http://communityadvocate.com/?p=8742

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