Letters to the Editor

Voting is a family affair

Dear Editor:

I have been a proud Revere resident for nearly 11 years now alongside my husband, two daughters, and mother-in-law, all lifelong residents of Revere. One of the things that bonds our family is a shared love for our city, state, and country, as well as a tremendous respect for the rights and responsibilities of its citizens.

My daughters (Nola, 8, and Cortana, 4) have yet to miss a vote alongside mom and dad. We turn it into a family event every time the polls are open, and enjoy a walk together to our polling location at the Jack Satter House. One of my biggest goals as a parent is instilling in our girls the appreciation of our right to vote and have our voices heard. Some of the most valuable helpers I’ve had in this regard are the men and women who staff our polling place, and it is them I am writing to publicly thank.

In our fast-paced world with its often contentious elections, it would be easy to overlook the value of a smile, a hello, and perhaps a post-vote cookie or two at our polling places. However, the way I see it, thanks to the attentive and kind volunteers, workers, and police officers at our polling place and across the city, my girls look forward to voting with us, become excited about the process and outcomes of elections, and even at their young ages, are growing into informed and passionate little citizens.

Thank you for giving your time to the democratic process and to the voters (present and future!) in our city. Thank you for doing your jobs faithfully and happily, and thank you from our whole family for the life lessons you are providing our girls. We’ll see you at the polls!

Jenny, Chris, Nola, Cortana and Kathy Reynolds

Writing in response to Vocational School letter

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to Lou Spagnola’s Letter to the Editor dated October 26, 2016. My opponent for the Revere seat on the Northeast Regional Vocational School Committee, made statements that I believe require a strong response.

Northeast Regional Vocational High School is Great! Great teachers, staff and students. It is rated a Level 1 High School by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). 100% of our students have passed MCAS a huge accomplishment, as our students are in academics half of the time of their peers in a comprehensive high school.

You just cannot get any better than that.

I have been a dedicated and tireless advocate for vocational education. Northeast and its students have thrived during my tenure and I am proud of the school, and the staff. Northeast continues to bring new technology to enhance the students’ educational experience, such as the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Program for little or no cost to the cities despite being located in an old building that does require major renovation or rebuilding.

All teachers at Northeast meet the requirements set forth by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education DESE. The public should not be continuously LIED to as my opponent continues to state this falsehood. He knows, vocational instructors enter the teaching profession from their vocational/career technical area. My opponent was hired from this industry and given an opportunity to teach without any experience. Where was his outrage then? The teaching positions at Northeast are posted in the school in accordance with the teacher’s contract and state law and on an educational job-posting site.

There have been many references to the school committee meetings and lack of transparency. My opponent has only been in attendance at two school committee meetings (to my knowledge) throughout my tenure on the committee.  The lack of consistency between the statement of “needing to know more” and not attending school committee meetings is glaring. The meeting minutes from all school committee meetings are recorded in accordance with open meeting laws.

The hypocrisy of my opponent letter continues in his criticism of school spending. The school pool is not in use due to cracks under the foundation, but our swim team is still competing using the Malden pool. Would my opponent like the committee to ask the communities to pay millions to repair the pool? Certainly not fiscally responsible! (Especially since a new school is in the works). Our sports fields are in need of upgrading, but yet so is our main infrastructure of the building, built in 1968. It is imperative that school committees prioritize the needs of the students. Cities and towns assessments (my opponents referenced) will change over several years, based on the number on the number of students enrolled in the school and the state formula for tuition reimbursement. The school committee DOES NOT determine enrollment figures or state reimbursement formulas. My opponent needs to educate himself on the operation of a regional vocational school.

Finally, I have to state that my opponent claims of extensive mold “all over the school” are grossly inaccurate. The school had an extensive Indoor Environment Quality Assessment Study completed that included testing for mold. No mold growth was detected and no corrective actions were warranted. The building maintenance staff work extremely hard to keep the building in the best condition possible given its age. The school has been identified as in need of major renovation or rebuilding and the school committee and administration are working with the MSBA. I worked closely wit h the superintendent and Speaker DeLeo at the State House to secure a 72% reimbursement rate for the new school.

I cannot sit idly back while an individual attempts to tear apart a school that has worked so hard to reach the level of success it currently maintains. The students, staff, administration, and school committee should be proud of the vocational, academic and extracurricular successes they have achieved. My opponent Lou Spagnola, former employees, can continue to try to tear these away, but he will remain unsuccessful. Northeast is a LEVEL ONE High School. I am proud of the innovative equipment that grant money has brought to the school without raising the budget. I remain extremely proud of Northeast. I have been and will always remain a proud supporter of vocational education at Northeast.

Any information about Northeast Regional can be found on the website www.northeastmetrotech.com or call the school 1-781-246-0810


Ron Jannino

Revere’s Representative,

Northeast School Committee

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