Lowell High School Remembers the Victims of 9/11

Many of the Lowell High Students who participated in Tuesday’s remembrance ceremony were not even born yet on September 11th, 2001.  For their predecessors eighteen years ago, including myself, Headmaster William Samaras was one of the first voices of authority to try to comfort a shaken community.  Mr. Samaras returned to Lowell High on Wednesday for the annual ceremony in remembrance of the day that no one will ever forget.

DSC_0395DSC_0412DSC_0438DSC_0447DSC_0456DSC_0461DSC_0470DSC_0475DSC_0478DSC_0485DSC_0489DSC_0503DSC_0509DSC_0512DSC_0389

A Back to School Bash

DSC_0146.jpg

The first Lowell Public Schools academic year with Dr. Joel Boyd as superintendent is upon us.  And it started with a bash!

On August 22nd, the city welcomed students and parents back to school with the first ever “Back to School Block Party” at JFK Plaza.

Mayor William Samaras and Dr. Boyd officially kicked off the school year with welcoming remarks.

DSC_0165.jpg

Free food, ice cream, and backpacks were provided first come first serve to youth who came to the party, with over 1300 backpacks distributed in under an hour.

PoliceIceCream

Still, even those who arrived late had a good time with entertainment provided by a DJ and music and dance performances throughout the afternoon.

DSC_0186

Bob Hoey, Joel Boyd, Bill Samaras, Gerry Nutter, Andy Descoteaux

DSC_0300.jpg

The Doctor is in.

BoydMeetandGreet

Dr. Joel Boyd has been in the job as Superintendent of the Lowell Public Schools just over a month but he was truly made to feel at home in the Mill City on Thursday, August 15th.  Project LEARN and Attorney Michael Gallagher hosted a reception for the new superintendent at the law offices of Gallagher & Cavanaugh.

Boyd was hired in May of this year and assumed the superintendency following the retiring Jeannine Durkin.  He comes to Lowell after most recently serving as an academic superintendent in the Boston Public Schools and had previous stops in key roles in Philadelphia, California, and Santa Fe.

The Thursday reception was well attended by many well-known individuals in the Lowell community from the political, business, and nonprofit sectors.

Following Michael Gallagher’s recognition of the elected and appointed officials in attendance, Project LEARN’s executive director, LZ Nunn introduced Dr. Boyd.

BoydDr. Boyd spoke about his background, including his youth athletic career as a wrestler (not that kind) and also his vision for the Lowell Public Schools and asked that all of those in attendance do what they can to make high quality education in Lowell accesible to all students.

“When a child enters our public schools we make an inherent promise to that family that there is going to be a high quality education for them, regardless of their economic background, regardless of their linguistic background, regardless of their racial identity” Dr. Boyd said to the assembled crowd. “For all of our children, we make an inherent promise that they will graduate from high school on a path to college or to a career of their choice.”

He continued, “High quality education is not a privilege, its a fundamental civil right”

Here are a few more photos from an engaging evening of discussion about the new chapter in the Lowell Public Schools

CouncilorsArrive

City Council Trio Arrives

WoodingBoyd

Dr. Boyd meets Dr. Wooding as they discuss Lowell as a City of Learning

VannaBrianArmand

Vanna Howard, Brian Martin, and Armand Lemay

KennedysDaddy.JPG

Mayor Samaras, Senator Kennedy, and Robert Gignac enjoy a laugh together

Congratulations to the LHS Class of 2019!

LHS2019

As most people know, prior to entering politics, Mayor William Samaras served as the headmaster of Lowell High School for 19 years, from 1991 to 2010.  On June 5th, the mayor returned to a very familiar scene for him, the Lowell High School graduation at the Tsongas Center at UMass Lowell.  Here is the text of his remarks to the graduating class.

DSC_0353

Good Evening,

Superintendent Jeannine Durkin, Head of School Marianne Busteed, Members of the School Committee, teachers, parents, friends, honored guests and, most of all, graduates – it is an honor to join you for the commencement exercises of the Lowell High School Class of 2019. 

I stand before you tonight as the Mayor of Lowell, the second best job in the city—because for 19 years, I had what I consider to be the best job in the city of Lowell—headmaster of Lowell High School. It is with that background that I speak to you tonight.

First, I applaud each and every graduate who is receiving a diploma this evening for your hard work and dedication to receiving this status.  The High School years are filled with distractions, unforeseen challenges, and sometimes self-doubt. When you add any or all of those things to a rigorous four-year high school curriculum – and succeed in completing the task, as you have done, it is commendable. Graduation is a time to look back at what you have accomplished and to be proud of yourselves. I hope the pride that you have in yourself, as you walk across the stage this evening, will stay with you forever.  Always remember how Lowell High was the place you forged new beginnings and relationships. Never forget where you came from, continue to build on the knowledge that you have acquired at Lowell High, and embrace the exciting new opportunities that lay ahead for you.

Second, I am sure that your families are proud of you tonight. Let me join with you in thanking your families for the support that they provided for you along the way. This night is their celebration as well.

I think you should be proud to say that you come from a city that truly values education. And with that I am proud to have been a part of that movement in support of bringing a new Lowell High School to downtown.

In a few years your younger brothers and sisters, cousins and friends will be attending a state of the art Lowell High School campus.  I have little doubt that the new Lowell High School will be the best of its kind in the entire Commonwealth. 

But those future students will also be benefiting from a positive school culture and an environment of learning that you have helped shape with your time here over the past four years.  You have paved the way for our future students.

That brings me to my final point which I want to touch on briefly.  As mayor, one of my goals is to make Lowell the first city in the United States to be designated as a UNESCO Learning City. Lowell will soon be part of a Global network of cities around the world that emphasizes lifelong learning opportunities for its residents and you.  

The philosopher John Dewey once said, “Education is not the preparation for life, it is life itself.”

Today marks a beginning—not an end—to your educational experience. Whatever path you take from here, whether it is continuing your academic journey through higher education, enlisting in the military, or entering the workforce, learning has to always be a lifelong endeavor.

My advice to you is to keep an open mind and an eagerness to embrace new challenges—that is how you will be successful.    

 I hope that your experience at Lowell High School has instilled in you the skills, the aptitude, and most importantly the passion to remain learners throughout your lives. If you can apply that mindset to your future path, wherever it takes you, I am certain you will make our city proud.

Congratulations to the Class of 2019!