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  • School vision logo

    New school year -- old educational questions

    Education. We pretend it begins for youngsters in September, when the leaves turn, but it continues through all of our season, every minute of every day, for everyone. Learning persists for two reasons -- human curiosity and technological change (you can't stop either one, but notice which is first). Shouldn't a third factor be classroom teachers? Good ones can have a lifelong effect, but our curiosity is the best guide, as technology draws us, often in too many directions, in the classroom that is everywhere. As Arlington schools open Tuesday, Sept. 2, what happens there is sliver of the educational story, albeit a key one for residents. Still, let's take a quick look at the new school year -- and then peer more broadly beyond it. ...

  • Pondering Our Future logo

    Spaced out? Many artists, but resistant owners

    Does Arlington have the imagination to embrace co-working? The town is trying to find out and held a forum in June attended by about 30 people. Read a summary of comments from some of the attendees here >>  See what properties in town may be available here >> Following publication, Eric Love, present at the forum, provided a brief critique. His LARP Adventure Program, aims to spur imaginations. ...

  • Arlington election logo

    Primary letters -- all welcome -- 8 ask you to vote for Berwick

    YourArlington welcomes letters to the editor from Arlington residents for all Massachusetts candidates whose election would have an impact on the town. Email them to sprague.bob at gmail.com. Here are eight supporting Don Berwick, who is seeking to be the Democratic nominee after the Sept. 9 primary. Send letters supporting any candidate in the primary. 'It's not just talk' Don Berwick, Democratic candidate for governor, speaks boldly about values and making Massachusetts a beacon for the nation. It’s not just talk -- he has met bold goals throughout his career.  Don is a creative leader with wise judgment and deep executive experience in complex bureaucracies, including as President Obama’s head of Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, that vast $800 billion federal agency.  His vision includes single-payer healthcare for Massachusetts, and he is the one candidate who understands how to make that happen; and, why it must happen, as rising healthcare costs consume o ...

  • Film reviews logo

    Review, ‘Life of Crime’: Leonard’s crew back at shenanigans

    This review by Tom Meek, a writer living in Cambridge, was originally published at Cambridge Day, a YourArlington partner, and is republished with permission. His reviews, essays, short stories and articles have appeared in The Boston Phoenix, The Rumpus, Thieves Jargon, Film Threat and Open Windows. He is a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and rides his bike everywhere. You can follow Tom on Twitter @TBMeek3 and read more at TBMeek3.wordpress.com. Elmore Leonard, the beloved master crime and western novelist, transcended seamlessly the divide between pulp and celluloid. His career is littered with great novels that became great movies (“Get Shorty,” “Jackie Brown” and “Out of Sight” to name a few), a smattering of original screenplays (“Joe Kidd”) and even took a few turns as producer. Cormac McCarthy might be his only peer. ...

  • Image of leaves

    Searching for an Arlington poet laureate: YOU?

    Are you a poet -- and you do know it? What have you written? Anything published? Inquiring minds want to know. Rumor has it that Arlington could have its own poet laureate, perhaps next year. Could that be you? ...

  • Arlington election logo

    8 ask you to vote for Berwick; letters for others welcome

    YourArlington welcomes letters to the editor from Arlington residents for all Massachusetts candidates whose election would have an impact on the town. Email them to sprague.bob at gmail.com. Here are eight supporting Don Berwick, who is seeking to be the Democratic nominee after the Sept. 9 primary. Only candidate to oppose casinos   I write in support of Don Berwick for governor. I support Don because he is the only candidate for governor opposed to casinos. In a strong field of likable candidates, this is decisive for me. I saw the Detroit casino pull the life out of the Greektown neighborhood there, so that it looked like a bombed out war zone. ...

  • Chris Loreti, former Redevelopment Board member

    Loreti to seek Town Meeting article targeting assessors' fiasco

    Loreti The following opinion column by Christopher Loreti of Adams Street was first published in The Arlington Advocate, on Aug. 14, under the headline "It’s Time to Professionalize Arlington’s Board of Assessors." The full column, which includes a paragraph about YourArlington deleted from The Advocate's version, is republished here with permission. In January 2012, the state Department of Revenue provided to Arlington a “Town and School Finance Analysis,” which included several recommendations for restructuring town government. The report contained two recommendations related to the Board of Assessors. The first of these recommendations was that the town make the director of assessments position an appointment of the Town Manager instead of the Board of Assessors. The second was that the town consider changing the Board of Assessors from an elected to an appointed board. The actions of the Board of Assessors in recent months make it clear that the town needs to move forward w ...

  • Domestic-violence logo

    New law curbs domestic-violence reports: What about sexual-assault case?

    A new law, signed Aug. 8 by Governor Patrick, requires law enforcement to keep domestic-violence cases off public police logs initially, and the Arlington police department is complying. That means details about domestic violence reported to police are not immediately available to the media -- or to you. Had the law been in effect June 1, information about a sexual-assault case in East Arlington would have been delayed. Chief Fred Ryan reached out to area media outlets Aug. 12, alerting them about the law and asking for feedback. He explained: ...

  • 2014 Arlington Cal Ripken champs

    How about honoring this team, Arlington?

    The Arlington National U12 All-Stars baseball team did not win the 2014 Cal Ripken World Series, but the boys had one doozy of a ride. They had four wins in a row until they ran into a then-unbeaten Bronx squad and a heartbreaking, double come-from-behind 7-6 loss to a Florida team. No need to cry. What the team has done is remarkable. The town should recognize their on-the-diamond accomplishments, just as occurred in 2008, when an Arlington Cal Ripken team went to the Series. There was a parade down Mass. Ave. Officials spoke on the steps at Town Hall. It was August then, as it is now. You can read brief summaries about how the 2014 team played out in the Series here >> This is a story that The Advocate or Patch have yet to report. In the photo from left in rear are manager John Messuri, Coach Scott Jones, Spencer Friedman, James Santagati, Brendan Jones, Sam Theodore, Timothy Mazzei, Patrick Masci, Coach Rich Flynn; in front are Timothy Shaw, Jacob Ahern, Caden FitzPa ...

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 Tuesday Sept. 2, 2014 |  12:15:07 p.m.
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Nanci OrtweinOrtwein

Teachers, staff are honored

The Arlington public schools, as it does annually, honors teachers and staff, highlighting those with the longest service, those gaining professional status as well as retirees.

This year the longevity honor goes to Nanci Ortwein, a teacher of Spanish, who has taught at Arlington High School for 45 years -- since the protest year of 1968.

Honored for 35 years was Peter Rufo, a physical education teacher at the Stratton School.

Serving 30 years was Barbara Flaherty, a traffic supervisor.

In addition, at the Thursday, June 13, School Committee meeting, Superintendent Kathleen Bodie announced that Cindy Sheridan Curran will replace Ellen Digby, who is retiring as the attendance officer and that Sue Franchi will replace Lucille Nicholson, the head school nurse.

Robert Spiegel, the schools' human-resources officer, reported June 18 that Digby worked 1990 to '99 at the secretary at the Thompson School and from 2000 to '13 as court liaison; Nicholson was hired in 1994, Franchi in 2008 and Sheridan in 2007.

The distinguished service award ceremony held June 13 in the Ottoson Middle School cafeteria, the following were recognized:

25 Years

Patricia Egan, teacher assistant, Hardy School

Sharon McLaughlin, teacher, Bishop School
Donald Miller, teacher - Dallin School
Patricia Plagge, administrative assistant, superintendent’s office
Johanne Yablonsky, custodian, Arlington High School 

20 Years

Carol Andrus, teacher, Stratton School

Roseann Casazza, traffic supervisor
Elizabeth Higgins, teacher, Bishop School
Caroline Thom, teacher, Bishop School

Attained Professional Status 2012-2013

Ann Marie Abbott, teacher, Stratton School

Susan Bisson, teacher, Hardy School
Gary Blanchette, teacher, Ottoson Middle School
Claire Blumenfeld, reading specialist, Hardy School
Hannah Borden, social worker, Bishop School
Meagan Burke, social worker, Dallin School
Hilary Dawson, teacher, Ottoson Middle School
Erica Dusombre, teacher, Hardy School
Colleen Flynn, teacher, Peirce School
Victoria Frenkel , learning center liaison, Dallin School
Sheilah Gauch, social worker, Arlington High School
Nanta Hardesty, teacher, Ottoson Middle School
Tami Harrah, nurse, Peirce School
Erin Higgins, teacher, Dallin School
Daniela Hurley, teacher, Peirce School
Linda Kita, speech and language pathologist, Menotomy Preschool
Patricia Lynch, teacher, Peirce School
Catherine MacDonald, social worker, Arlington High School
Michael McEwen, occupational therapist, Dallin School
Nicole Melnik, teacher, Thompson School at Stratton
Kelly O’Toole, reading specialist, Dallin School
Chrisna Pompilus, social worker, Thompson/Dallin School
Kerrianne Simoneau, lead teacher, Menotomy Preschool
Brian Sylvester, teacher, Arlington High School
John Tan, teacher, Arlington High School
Patricia Toohig, speech and language pathologist, Menotomy Preschool
Travis Woodward, teacher, Ottoson Middle School

Retirees 2012-2013

Peg Callanan, SPED team chair, Arlington public schools

Janet Collins, budget analyst, Arlington public schools
Deb D'Amico, principal, Hardy School
Ellen Digby, attendance officer, Arlington public schools
Donna Dolan, social studies/grade 6, Ottoson Middle School
John Flood, maintenance, Arlington public schools
Linda Garrity, administrative assistant, Hardy School
Carol Kalauskas, teacher assistant, Dallin School
Nella LaRosa-Waters, ELA and math, Ottoson Middle School
Jane McQueeney, Peirce School, grade3
Lucille Nicholson, supervisor of nurses, Arlington public schools
Nanci Ortwein, AHS Spanish teacher
Assunta Pizzotti, administrative assistant, Community Education
Patricia Plagge, administrative assistant, superintendent’s office
Peter Rufo, physical education teacher, Stratton School
Mary Villano, interim principal, Arlington High School
Johanne Yablonsky, custodian, Arlington High School


Ths story was published Friday, June 14, 2013, and updated June 18.

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