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Now that Melinda Boone, Tracy Novick, and Hilda Ramirez are all gone it’s time to appoint a new superintendent who best serves the children of Worcester. That person is South High Principal Maureen Binienda. Some turtle riders have started a Change.org petition that you can sign here. Obviously Change.org petitions don’t get legislation passed, but it does start to affect public opinion, and as we saw the other night, the School Committee is held accountable by the people. Novick and Ramirez both did not support the appointment of Mrs. Binienda as superintendent, but they have been replaced by Donna Colorio and Molly McCullough. Now is the chance to make a positive change for Worcester and further the TBS Revolution.
Here’s some reasons she is the perfect fit:
- First of all, if you’ve ever met Mrs. Binienda, she’s one of the coolest people you’ll ever meet. She’s down to earth, she’s got a good sense of humor, she’s personable, and she can relate to and speak to anyone. We went to a South High basketball game at Acton-Boxboro a couple years back, which is a good 40-45 minutes from Worcester, and Mrs. Binienda was there. Because if there’s a South High event going on, she can’t miss it. She loves the school that much.
- She’s been doing ground work in the public schools for decades now, having worked at the building since it first opened in 1978!! She began working with special needs students before becoming advancing and becoming an assistant principal in the 90’s.
- She’s extremely well liked by the faculty at South High, which isn’t easy for a principal to do in the day and age of school “accountability.”
- She has kept South High running smoothly and out of the headlines despite having virtually the same demographics and population as North High.
- She has a passion for education and would be more concerned with how policies affect learning, rather than how to improve meaningless charts.
- In 2010 she partnered with the Family Health Center of Worcester and opened a food pantry at the high school for students and their families.
- South High created a full service health center under her direction.
- South High is the headquarters for Andy’s Attic, a collaborative effort she helps run with Shrewsbury High School, where students donate clothing and kids volunteer to put together completed outfits into one package which are then given to identified students who are in need.
- Dozens of teachers at South High are graduates of the school and came to know Mrs. Binienda as a teacher and principal, and consequently she has put together a unique staff that knows and understands the students they serve.
- She volunteers at the Hanover Theater as an usher and partners with them so that kids who normally would not be exposed to cultural experiences can do so.
- South High is the most diverse school in the city, serving students from over 70 countries. It’s impossible to miss when you walk in the building because you are greeted by the flags of almost every country on earth.
- Maureen is the Vice President of the Webster Square Business Association, a group that supports and encourages young people in the community by “employing teens, partnering with schools, and awarding annual scholarships. During the holiday season, we purchase gifts for needy children and host a tree lighting program for families in our neighborhood.”
- The Webster Square Business Association also does neighborhood cleanups as part of their goal to beautify the Webster Square area. To do so Mrs. Binienda assembles a small army of student volunteers who pick up trash and plant trees and shrubs on the weekends.
- She encouraged hundreds to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, including both students and faculty.
I could go on and on and on about what she has done in nearly 40 years of service. But the most important thing about her is that she’s touched the lives of so many who came from so little and ended up accomplishing so much. Are you a South High graduate or someone who has had a positive experience with Maureen Binienda? We ask that you share your stories in the comments so people understand why this is so important. Then share the blog so all your friends know too. We need someone who is in education for the right reasons to be leading the ship, not someone who is concerned with data and charts.
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