School Committee votes to discuss extension of superintendent’s contract

Four members continue their anti-Tahiliani stance

By Josh Resnek

The School Committee membership decided Monday night to notify as to whether or not they will be inclined to discuss the possibility of a contract extension for Superintendent Priya Tahiliani by December 1st as required by her contract.

The vote was 6-4, and frankly, came as a bit of a surprise.

The wording for the measure is taken from the November 21 School Committee agenda: That the Everett School Committee notify the Superintendent of Schools in writing no later than December 1, 2022, whether or not it wishes to commence negotiations for a successor agreement.

School Committee member Millie Cardello voted for the measure, an unusual move for the senior committeewoman who has shown a propensity to vote as the mayor votes.

The mayor voted against the measure, as did committeemen Jason Marcus, Joe LaMonica and Mike McLaughlin.

The mayor is opposed to Tahiliani and has been for quite some time.

It is no wonder.

Tahiliani filed a complaint against him to the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination claiming racism and sexist behavior.

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The Superintendent Is Right

There comes a time during important public debates when everyone involved has to agree to do something.

Doing something is a not a crime.

Doing nothing is the crime.

With regard to using Pope John as a middle school, the time has arrived.

Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani said so last week to the city council.

“At some point, we must make a decision to begin,” she said after listening to City Councilor Richard Dell Isola go on an about how confusing everything seems to be.

“It get more complex each time we meet,” he said.

Dell Isola appears to be in favor of Pope John being used to mitigate overcrowding in the Everett Public Schools.

However, he becomes paralyzed when thinking about a new high school or the old high school or trailers and on and on.

He gets bogged down in the new high school rhetoric offered by the mayor.

The mayor believes the chances for the new high school he’d like to build, which will cost $500 million, might conceivably be impacted by renovating Pope John, and he is right.

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Old High School Being Suggested For Rehab To Ease Schools Overcrowding

The old Everett High (above) has been mentioned in the ongoing discussion to alleviate overcrowding in Everett Public Schools. (Photo by Joe Resnek)

By Josh Resnek

For many sensible thinking residents of the neighborhood, and for many city councilors and school committee members, the former Pope John facility is a perfect fit as a partial solution to the overcrowding issue plaguing the public schools.

However, the mayor and some of his staunch supporters are willing to suggest anything but Pope John as a solution when it is arguably, the least expensive and quickest fix to mitigate overcrowding.

Councilors Stephanie Smith and Mike Marchese have expressed frustration and amazement that putting the Pope John facility back to use as a public school is even an issue.

Superintendent of Schools Priya Tahiliani has also firmly supported Pope John’s reuse as an imperative.

Others, however, are not so sure. They have many questions, too many questions, frankly, to make any sense, according to elected public officials like Smith and Marchese.

The dissonant voices seemingly opposed to Pope John as the most inexpensive and timely solution to the problem have been suggesting trailers and the former high school on Broadway.

The trailers would be located in open areas in front of or next to all the public elementary schools as a quick fix at a cost of about $25 million or more.

Councilors Smith, Marchese and Darren Costa are opposed to trailers.

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Says “Pope John Should Be A School”

By Josh Resnek

The Joint Convention of the City Council and the School Committee talked for several hours Monday evening about what to do about the overcrowding crisis in the Everett Public Schools.

This was against a back drop of The Neighborhood Developers dropping out of the project out of respect to the neighborhood.

While no major agreements were reached following a great deal of talk from Mayor Carlo Demaria, Superintendent Priya Tahiliani and their colleagues in government, there was a general agreement not to rush to judgment about the Pope John School being renovated to house 7th and 8th grade EPS students.

In addition, there seemed to be the general feeling that the costs for redoing Pope John and the old high school needed to be known in order for elected public officials to make reasonable decisions about what exactly to do.

Redoing Pope John might take about two years and cost $30-$40 million and might take 2 years to complete.

By doing so this would greatly relieve overcrowding by about 1,000 students out of approximately 1,500 who are without classrooms and proper educational space.

A new high school, as the mayor is suggesting will take at least 8 years and $500 million to build.

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Extend Tahiliani’s Contract

We did not support Priya Tahiliani to be the superintendent of Everett’s Public Schools when she was seeking the position.

We always felt that a “local” candidate would be better than an “out of towner.”

In this respect, we believed the leadership of the public schools should be left to an insider, preferably an Everett resident.

This was before the racial component now hanging over the city’s right to govern itself revealed just how ugly racism becomes when a city that is largely Black, Brown and Hispanic is ruled exclusively by white people who make the effort to exclude people of race and color from joining the city hall and the Vine Street management teams.

Further, we believed two years ago that Everett was just fine except for the rough and tumble politics that pervades city hall under the leadership, or the lack of it, of Mayor Carlo DeMaria.

After Tahiliani became the superintendent, we got behind her.

We never bought in to the idea that she was not right for the position after she was appointed.

After all, who exactly is right for the superintendent’s position to begin with?

With everything underhanded and rooted in racism that has gone on to undermine and to be rid of Tahiliani since she arrived, we have come to understand that she is the right person, at the right time, in the right place with stellar qualifications to be the superintendent of schools.

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