| G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – Mayor Domenic Sarno said the School Committee would have to select a person to serve on the committee to replace Dr. Calvin McFadden, who announced his resignation at the meeting on Sept. 22.
McFadden and his family have purchased a home in Agawam and will no longer be Springfield residents.
Sarno explained to Reminder Publications that normally the seat would go to the candidate from the last election with the next highest number of votes. That would have been the late Antonette Pepe, Sarno said. Now the School Committee will have to decide and the mayor said it would release the information shortly on how it would fill the position.
McFadden said serving on the School Committee was “sheer joy.” His resignation would be effective Sept. 30.
His colleagues were effusive in their praise and Sarno called the moment “bittersweet.”
In other action, Paul Foster, chief information officer at Springfield Public Schools and Dr. Kate Fenton, chief instructional officer, shared a presentation about the We Learn Springfield initiative. The district has made laptops available to all students and the challenge for the schools is how to better use technology to move the goals of the curriculum forward, they explained.
Through training, teachers are now using the digital technology and access to the Internet in the classrooms to expand the resources for students.
“One common goal is to use digital resources to further engage our students,” Fenton said.
They showed a video from the Alfred G. Zanetti Montessori Magnet School to show how teachers and students are integrating digital resources – from designing web pages to making a video to designing an interactive game – as part of the learning assignments.
Foster said that school principal have gone through the training and there will be more training for teachers.
Fenton said, “It’s such an exciting time to be a school teacher or administrator in Springfield.”