Creating Connections - June 10, 2016

A weekly message from Superintendent Maureen Binienda

June 10, 2016 - Volume 1, Issue 23

Superintendent's Message

At the completion of the 2016 graduation ceremonies, it was evident that Worcester Public Schools staff, family members, and students showed great pride in their accomplishments. It was especially inspirational for me to see the happiness in the faces of each student as they earned their diplomas. The experience of graduating over 1,500 students, listening to student speeches and shaking each hand confirmed my resolve to ensure that all future student classes graduate.

As these students transition into the next stage of their lives, I want to thank those who are retiring from the Worcester Public Schools and wish them well in their own adventures. I appreciate all the passion and devotion they have given daily for our students. You have left a legacy of caring that will be remembered.

In the last few days of school, I want to thank all of you for your exemplary service. I wish you a restful summer and look forward to your energized return to continue our important work on August 25th.

Celebrations and Updates

Evening of Celebration

Worcester Public Schools’ annual Evening of Celebration was held Thursday evening at Worcester Technical High School. This memorable event recognized outstanding contributions made by individuals to Worcester Public Schools. One of the recognitions was “Teacher of the Year” that was given to Miss Donna Quitadamo who has been teaching for over 30 years and has taught many generations of students.

Superintendent Open House

Members of the WPS system and community celebrated Maureen Binienda’s new role as Superintendent in an open house at the Durkin Administration Building on Tuesday, June 7.  Superintendent Binienda was joined by Mayor Joseph Petty and other local dignitaries, school committee members, community groups, and staff, as well as students who performed musical acts.  Mayor Petty welcomed Superintendent Binienda in her new role and Binienda paid homage to her parents for their love and support; her father graduated high school from Classical High School, the building that is now the Durkin Administration Building.

HR Staff Member Receives Award

The Massachusetts State Universities Distinguished Educator Alumni Award for Worcester State University was awarded yesterday to Cheryl DelSignore, WPS Staffing and Mentor Coordinator, at a luncheon ceremony at Framingham State University.  The eight education programs within the state’s university system recognizes these alumni for outstanding professional and community service.  There were eight honorees presented  (Framingham State University, Bridgewater State University, Fitchburg State University, MA college of Art and Design, MA College of Liberal Arts, Salem State University, Westfield State University and Worcester State University.)  Ceremony attendees included the honorees, their families, representatives from universities and other education leaders, as well as members of the MA House of Representatives.  The university faculty introduced and spoke about the accomplishments of each honoree.

Cheryl says, “It was an amazing honor, one that I am humbled to have received in spite of the thousands of excellent educators Worcester State graduates from their fine school of education.”

Claremont Teachers Goes To Space Camp

Claremont Academy science teacher Scott Bodamer, will be attending the Honeywell Space Academy in Huntsville, Alabama’s U.S. Space & Rocket Center from June 8 – June 14.  For one week, Bodamer will participate in intensive classroom, laboratory and training time, focusing on science and space exploration, giving him ideas for classroom curriculum.  Boadmer applied for the Space Academy in December and earned a spot as one of the 100 middle school teachers accepted into the program, as well as a scholarship for travel, lodging and meals.

Healthy Start Schools

At an event at the State House on May 5th, the Eos Foundation proudly recognized eleven Worcester Public Schools along with other partners from 92 schools across 19 Massachusetts districts with $56,000 in grants for their commitment to support universal free, after the bell, breakfast in the classroom (BIC) as a powerful tool to fight childhood hunger, and boost academic achievement in high-need communities. Over 41,000 students benefit from these schools’ breakfast programs each school day.  

Worcester had 11 schools who were granted $500.00 each in unrestricted funds for maintaining 80% or higher average daily participation rates in school breakfast through after the bell BIC programs.

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Upcoming Week's Events

Playground Ribbon Cutting

On Monday, June 13th, students, families and local dignitaries will participate in a ribbon cutting to celebrate a new playground at Grafton Street School.  The playground, a two-year project, was funded by CSX.