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June 6 School Committee Meeting

by Erica Plunkett
June 11, 2013

The meeting opened with a welcome to new member, Ian Kelly.  Mr. Kelly is an elementary school principal and will bring this experience to the Committee.   As well, there are a number of new administrators and appointments in the district: at the Placentino School, Susan Gleason will be replacing Mrs. Stewart as Assistant Principal with Mrs. Stewart’s retirement this year.  Ms. Gleason comes to Holliston from Holbrook, where she was Director of Curriculum.  Mrs. Brenda Maurao, former third grade teacher at the Miller school, has taken over as Assistant Principal from Mrs. Barnowski, who decided to remain at home with her growing family.  David Jordan will be taking over as Assistant Principal for Dr. John Harutunian, who is leaving to become Principal of the Oak Hill Middle School in Newton.  Mr. Jordan is currently an Assistant Principal in North Carolina and a former Science Teacher.  

At the High School, Mrs. Nicole Bottomley is replacing Mr. Cournoyer, who is leaving to become Principal of Hopkinton High School.  Mrs. Bottomley will be the Interim Principal, Mr. Bender will remain as Assistant Principal, and Mrs. Anne Connoni, Head of the Math Department at HHS, has been named Interim Assistant Principal.  The District and the Committee welcomes everyone to their new positions and sends all departing administrators off with gratitude and best wishes!

Dr. Jackson also informed the Committee that 8th Grade Community Service Day was a huge success and culminated with a barbeque with interested members from the Senior Citizen community.  Dr. Ahern shared the news that Holliston has received a $4800 grant from the Metrowest Community Health Care Foundation to participate in a mental health capacity assessment project.   

The central focus of the evening was the school improvement plans.  As always, these are linked to the District’s five-year Strategic Plan.  The Principals gave both updates on the 2012-2013 plans and previews of the 2013-2014 plans.  All the plans can be found in their entirety on the District website:  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the Principals.  The Committee thanks all the School Councils for their great work and looks forward to hearing updates on the plans next January.

Next, the Committee approved a one-year unpaid leave of absence request for a High School Social Studies teacher.  Staying with the High School, Mr. Cournoyer presented three recommendations to the High School Handbook.  The first change pertained to student ability to accelerate a course of study.  The second change pertained to the appointment of sports team captains (captains may now be selected by the coach or by a team election and captains must represent the core values of the high school.  They must also take part in leadership programs outside the boundaries of their sport).  Lastly, changes were made to student removal from a sporting event due to disruptive behavior, allowing for the Athletic Director to make the determination of when a student may return to school-sponsored sporting events).  

Finally, the School Committee voted in their meeting schedule for the 2013-2014 year.  This can be found on the District website, as well.  In general, the Committee will meet once a month from August-December, resuming twice monthly meetings January-June. 

The next (and last) meeting of the year will be Thursday, June 20.  Central to the agenda will be the reorganization of the Committee due to the recent election; conflict of interest disclosure; a preview of summer curriculum work; appointment of the School Attendance Officer; and the annual presentations by the Parent groups.  If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact Central Office or any School Committee member.  

Kindest regards,

Erica Plunkett

Chair, Holliston School Committee


Did You Know….that at the Senior Awards night last week, over $100K was granted to graduating Seniors from a number of businesses and organizations in Holliston and beyond?  Congratulations to all our Seniors and have a happy and healthy and safe summer.



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