Education Secretary Visits District

Matt Malone, Massachusetts Secretary of Education visits three schools in Steve’s district

On a beautiful May day in the Hilltowns, Massachusetts Secretary of Education Matt Malone talked educational opportunities with teachers and parents, including Vanessa and Aaron Lewis, at the R.H. Conwell Community Education Center in Worthington, as part of a learning tour of my legislative district. I invited the Secretary out to Worthington to give him a first hand look at the education center, as the town begins its transition back to having its own public school. Matt was impressed by the commitment of the staff and parents and quality of the facilities. He suggested a number ways in which the state might partner with the town, particularly through grants, as Worthington moves to re-open a Kindergarten - Grade 6 program. The town is poised to establish its own elementary district after passage of special legislation that Sen. Ben Downing and I co-sponsored, allowing Worthington to separate from the Gateway Regional District.

In Williamsburg, the Secretary joined elementary school principal Stacey Jenkins and chair of the school committee, Sarah Christiansen, for a tour of the newly renovated Anne T. Dunphy School. I was excitied to see the transformation of the school into a larger, lighter, more modern learning center. I had helped get the process started almost four years ago by inviting then director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority, Katherine Craven, to tour the Dunphy School, which had not been updated since it opened in 1955.

At Frontier Regional High School in South Deerfield, the Secretary engaged with students in government class, stopped by the fitness center, and talked education policy with Superintendent Marti Barrett and Principal Darius Modestow. After a tour of the Deerfield Elementary School, lead by two members of the Fifth Grade class, the Secretary and his staff headed back to Boston, better informed of the accomplishments and challenges facing small public schools in Western Massachusetts, and committed to spending another day, soon, in the First Franklin District