Principal - Jill M. Rossetti
Blue Hills Regional Technical School
Dear Parents and Guardians:
I hope that everyone had a restful and enjoyable summer! It’s important to “recharge” by doing things like spending time with family and friends, traveling, reading, going to the beach, or whatever you like to do to unwind. Now that September is nearly here, we are turning our attention to the upcoming school year. It will be my fourth as principal of Blue Hills. I’m excited and energized by the prospect of meeting our incoming students and reconnecting with those I already know as we start the new year together. This year’s graduating class began at Blue Hills when I was in my first year as principal. Hard to believe that so much time has passed so quickly!
One of my favorite leisure activities is reading. You can enhance your intellect and have vicarious adventures you never imagined just by sitting down with a great book. Some of the volumes I read this summer were:
- “Quiet Power: The Secret Strength of Introverts” by Susan Cain
- “The Identicals” by Elin Hilderbrand
- “The Woods” by Harlan Coben
- “Beach House for Rent” by Mary Alice Munroe
- “Existentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” by Greg McKeown
- “Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization” by John Wooden
- “Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow’s Schools, Today” by Eric C. Sheninger and Thomas C. Murray
- “Lead Like a Pirate” by Dave Burgess
- “Your First Year: How to Survive and Thrive as a New Teacher” by Todd Whitaker, Madeline Whitaker and Katherine Whitaker
- “Transforming Schools for Everyone: Closing the Achievement Gap, Increasing Accountability in Charter and Traditional Public Schools” by Dr. Tiffany C. Anderson
I highly recommend all of them.
Speaking of memorable journeys, my own journey here at Blue Hills began when I was a student teacher, then I taught writing and computer information systems and networking. I left for five years after exploring the corporate world and another school, then returned in 2005 and I went back to teaching until 2008, when I became the Academic Director for five years. For me, this entire period has been a wonderful time of professional growth, of building solid relationships with administrators, faculty, families and students, and watching the young men and women who attend this school evolve from shy, tentative freshmen into mature adults ready to enter the workplace, college or the military. Playing a role in their education gives me an incomparable sense of gratification and pride.
I also want to express my sincere appreciation for the dedication, effort and wisdom which all of our teachers bring to the task of preparing each Blue Hills student. Their job isn’t easy. It requires energy, compassion, humor, flexibility, patience, discretion, tolerance, sound judgement, comprehensive knowledge of their particular subject and tireless enthusiasm for what they do.
Shaping our students into the leaders and professionals of tomorrow is a tall order – and they realize it. The world is vastly different, more complex and competitive than ever before. Being able to thrive in a demanding global environment is crucial to being successful. When our students graduate, they possess all the tools they need to rise to the top, thanks to the rigorous training they received here from amazing teachers who are experts in their fields.
(Video link) Success in the New Economy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs6nQpVI164
Our teachers are a precious resource. They understand that relationships are important. Rita Pierson said, "Kids don't learn from people they don't like." Teachers make a difference. Every person needs to feel valued and loved. Our teachers make sure that each student knows that he or she is special. As Charles Hymas says, "Be good to people. You will be remembered more for your kindness than any level of success you could possibly attain.”
In that same positive, upbeat spirit, on behalf of all of us at Blue Hills, I want to extend a truly warm welcome to our newest staff members. They are an incredibly talented, motivated, outstanding group of professionals. We wish them the very best as they begin their first year here: Felicia Martin, Cosmetology; Resheeda Bowman, Information Systems and Networking; Linda Varraso, Culinary Arts; Richard (Rick) Deeb, Auto Collision; Mary-Elizabeth Mack, Criminal Justice; Daniel McDonald, Science; Elizabeth Oggieri, Math; Shara Ginthwain, Chemistry; Elizabeth Fiascone, Social Studies; Quinn Peters, History; Kyle P. Egan, Math; and Laura O’Reilly, Guidance / Physical Education. I’m sure that the members of the Blue Hills family will do everything possible to make them feel right at home here.
As administrators and faculty members, we understand that we need to stay current with new developments in technology and best practices. That is why we attend conferences, workshops and the like to always be up to speed. I attended ASCD's Literacy Leaders' Institute in Chicago from August 6-8 with Vocational Director Michelle Sylvia and Special Services Director Angelo Dimitriou because we are all responsible for teaching literacy. "Think of literacy as a spine; it holds everything together. The branches of learning connect to it, meaning that all core content teachers have a responsibility to teach literacy.” - Vicki Phillips and Carina Wong, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Cyber-security has been a major topic in the news lately. Maintaining the integrity of our school’s computer network and protecting our information is extremely important. That’s why we plan training on essential subjects like malware, spam, phishing, ransomware, credential harvesting and good password practices.
Another major initiative we are undertaking has to do with renovating our building. Constructed in the early 1960s, with an addition in 1976, this school has withstood the effects of time, weather and constant use by hundreds of students every year very well. Still, some of the building’s systems need to be updated. Our prospective School Renovation Project, which is being prepared in conjunction with the MSBA, is about to enter Module 5 as of this writing, in which MSBA approves an amount to borrow. The MSBA is an independent public authority that administers and funds a program for grants to eligible school districts for school construction and renovation projects. Also, they will approve the final percentage of reimbursement. From there, we will be contacting our towns for their political entities to hold a vote for the project (through either town meeting or town council). A non-action by a town would be considered a vote in favor of the project. Blue Hills is fortunate to have partnered with nine communities who support our mission, so we look forward to a positive outcome for all involved. For further information, consult the following link: http://www.renovatebluehills.co
We never forget that our students are capable of wonderful things. With thousands of potential careers to choose from, they can each be different and make a difference. In fact, there are 17 career paths taught at Blue Hills, with a total of 17,000 possible careers! First, however, students have to pinpoint what they are passionate about and see how to incorporate it into their future profession. Our teachers and guidance counselors are superb at guiding them in the right direction.
(Video link) Find Your Passion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HScOL_aOMrw
College and career readiness is a priority at Blue Hills. Our graduates frequently tell us that when they enter college or the workforce, they know exactly what to do and what is expected of them because they were so well prepared at Blue Hills. That goal is always what we aim for here and it is an important part of our mission.
It’s also why our graduates excel, no matter what career path they choose.
Social and emotional learning is yet another element of a Blue Hills education. We try to communicate to our students how necessary it is to have empathy, sincerity, openness and to be caring people. I am very impressed with the work being done by the Born This Way Foundation, which was founded in 2012 by Lady Gaga and her mother, Cynthia Germanotta, “with the goal of creating a kinder and braver world. Young people are key to that mission and that’s why we work to provide youth with genuine opportunities, quality resources, and platforms to make their voices heard,” according to their web site.
(Video link) The Born This Way Foundation: https://bornthisway.foundation
I would like to mention one of our core values – respect for each person’s individuality. No matter what a student’s career interest is, where they come from or what their aptitude may happen to be, every young man and woman in this school is treasured for what he or she is. Each student has a personality that is as unique as a fingerprint. Together, they comprise one of the most outstanding student bodies of any high school in this Commonwealth. As the year progresses, I hope to find out more about what each student’s story is and celebrate every one.
Finally, just a few words about what you will need to know as the year begins. Most of the information students and families need about the opening of school, including necessary forms to be returned to school, is on our website, www.bluehills.org. We also provide translations of information for non-English speaking students and their families. You will also find our Parent Student Handbook, Program of Study, Faculty and Staff Directory, bus schedules, School Council and SEPAC and summer reading. There is also information about sports, concussions, extra-curriculars and much more.
I want to remind all students and families that you are part of the Blue Hills family. Please be an active participant by joining our Booster Club, School Council or attending and supporting our school events. Your presence and input are always welcome. Please contact my Administrative Secretary, Ms. Cindy Fama, at 781-828-5800 x261, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to look for the Principal’s Post which comes out almost every other week because we never pass up an opportunity to say something great about Blue Hills. Feel free to contribute wonderful photos with captions for the Principal’s Post.
Working together, we will have a terrific year filled with learning, excitement and achieving. Please feel free to contact us if you have a question, suggestion, or if we can be of any assistance. I look forward to meeting and working with many of you in the coming months. Let’s make it a wonderful 2017-2018 school year!
Jill M. Rossetti