Tag Archives: Peabody schools

Poll: If you were mayor, what would you focus on first?

19 Nov

By Eye on Peabody

So let’s play pretend today, and give you a chance to play Mayor For A Day. Please participate in our poll below, so we can see which issues interest our EOP audience the most.

This post brought to you by “You Make the Call,” Peabody’s longest-running cable show on the issues of the day.

We need a new middle school, but officials also need to be careful to avoid overruns

17 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

I guess you could call this our very first cost overrun on the new Middle School project. But this one was also pretty much unavoidable.

Turns out that Peabody won’t be invited to participate  in the Mass. School Building Authority‘s model school program  for the construction of a new Higgins, and as a result the new school could end up costing taxpayers at least $3 million more, putting the new estimated price tag at $90 million.

Mayor Ted Bettencourt recently revealed that the MSBA  voted against inviting Peabody into the model school program  because there is no model middle school that matches Peabody’s needs. In other words, our middle school population is too large to fit one of the existing, off-the-shelf models.

Another  big advantage of being in the model school program is the guarantee of a 5-point higher reimbursement rate from the state. Next step in this process is for the School Building Committee to present a final plan to the MSBA for approval in the spring.

Sounds like this first overrun was definitely unavoidable, but this might also be a good time to insist that our elected officials proceed cautiously with our tax dollars when it comes to avoiding future overruns.

Although not many would disagree that we definitely need to build a new middle school, it’s important that the Mayor also keep his eye on escalating costs, and cut back on the plan and some “amenities” to avoid a larger tax burden. We want a nice, new modern building for our kids, but it’s important to note that the education that goes on in that new building is more important than the structure itself.

As with all publicly funded construction projects, it’s likely that there will be more cost overruns.

We need that new school, but we also want to make sure we manage this in a fiscally responsible way, so that already overburdened taxpayers don’t get fleeced.

Here are some more details in the Peabody Patch about these latest developments.

This post brought to you by “You Make the Call,” Peabody’s longest-running cable show on the issues of the day.

Hats off and thanks to this wonderful educator

17 Nov

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Forget about the teachers unions and politicians thinking they know what’s best when it comes to educating our kids. Forget all of them, and think about wonderful educators such as Maryellen McGrath. 

All she ever wanted to be was a teacher. And all she ever wanted to do was teach in her hometown of Peabody. Now, 41 years later, after being a memorable and positive influence on generations of kids, this terrific educator is retiring at the end of January.

Most recently, Maryellen served as principal at the South School, but before that she spent her entire teaching career on the elementary school level in Peabody.

I’m just one citizen, one taxpayer, but from the bottom of my heart, I thank her for her service.

Here’s a nice take on her story from the Peabody Patch

How do you feel the Mayor is doing?

16 Nov

It’s been almost a year since Mayor Ted Bettencourt was sworn in. We want know how you feel he did in his first year in this very unscientific poll. What letter grade would you give him?