Saturday, March 18, 2017

Franklin Superintendent search yields 2 finalists

To the Franklin School Community,

We have again completed the first part of the Superintendent Search. With a representative from the principal, teacher, town and parent constituencies, we have narrowed down the search to two finalists: Sara Ahern and Peter Light.

For the next part of the process, we are relying even more on your feedback. To that end we are inviting each finalist back on separate days to meet with as many of you as possible. In addition we have set up a community forum where citizens may also have an opportunity to meet the candidates.

We will collect feedback through an on-line Google Docs survey from ALL of you who participate. We understand how important this decision is to the lives of our students and equally to all of you! Please help us with this process.

Franklin School Committee

Parmenter School sign
Parmenter School sign

Posted earlier


The Franklin School Committee has reopened the search for the superintendent of schools to replace the outgoing superintendent, Dr. Maureen Sabolinski, who is retiring after serving eight years in that position.

Please join us on Monday evening, March 20 at 6:30 PM in the Council Chambers (second floor of the Franklin Municipal Building, 355 East Central Street) to meet the finalists. The finalists have not yet been named, but once they are announced their resumes will be posted on the Franklin School
Committee website. 

Citizens who attend the forum will be invited to complete a survey providing input on each candidate. 

We greatly value your input as citizens of Franklin.

Superintendent Job Description

Franklin Leadership Profile

Franklin Desired Characteristics

The Special School Committee meeting of March 15 was recorded and available for replay here

Local Young Pianist Takes The Stage At Carnegie Hall

Franklin’s Peter Bryan, 11, performed at Carnegie Hall on Saturday, February 18, at the invitation of The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program in recognition of his achieving First Class Honors in his piano music assessment. Peter, a piano student of Ida Zelman at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts (FSPA), performed Little Red Wagon, by T. Richert, in the Celebration of Excellence Awards recital, held at Carnegie’s Weill Hall. A highest scorer in Massachusetts in his level of piano performance, Peter demonstrated skills related to repertoire, technical requirements, musicianship and musical literacy.

“It's such a high honor and an incredible opportunity,” said Zelman of Peter’s achievement and Carnegie Hall experience. “I am beyond proud of Peter. He comes to every lesson prepared and eager to learn. He doesn’t back off from a challenge. He’s a high achiever, and The Royal Conservatory program has a huge base of repertoire that motivates him to learn pieces and perform them well.”

“Performing at Carnegie Hall was amazing,” said Peter. “I was nervous at first, but as I waited for my turn to play, the nerves went away. It was really exciting when I finally went on stage. When I played on the (Steinway) piano there, I knew it sounded really fancy. And I've never played in front of a crowd that big before.”

Peter, who started playing piano four years ago at age 7, first took to the instrument when his grandfather bought him a keyboard. His Poppa plays the piano and thought his grandson would enjoy it. “As I tried playing songs I knew by ear, my parents thought I should sign up for lessons,” said Peter.

FSPA Piano Instructor Ida Zelman with her student Peter Bryan
FSPA Piano Instructor Ida Zelman with her student Peter Bryan
He began studying one-on-one with Zelman, who credits that parental support as being a key component in her student’s growth and development on the instrument. She noted, “It takes a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of the teacher and student, as well as the parents. It’s a partnership – a triangle, really. Without all three sides, there wouldn't be such success.” 

Zelman has utilized The Royal Conservatory program for more than two decades and now uses the curriculum with all of her students at FSPA. “It’s easy to follow, it progresses gradually and you can see the results,” she said.

The sequenced program begins with a preparatory level and progresses through advanced levels, with examinations offered three times annually to evaluate and recognize students’ achievements. Zelman praises the quality of the curriculum for offering a comprehensive, yet individualized and flexible path to train well-rounded musicians. She described, “It helps to develop ear training, sight reading, musical history and analysis, as well as a broad knowledge of repertoire across Baroque, Classical and Romantic/Modern time periods. But beyond that, the program and study of music in general helps expand students’ abilities and helps them grow as people. They improve memory skills, learn analytical thinking and enhance creativity. They discover history and geography as they come to know about composers’ lives and the countries in which they created their art. They develop life skills and broaden their horizons.”

“Every time I get a new song to play it's a new challenge,” Peter said. “And when I can finally play it, it's very rewarding. When I perform, I like the fact that I can make people happy with my music. Last weekend, I played some songs for my great-grandmother in the lobby of her Senior Living home. Several people heard me playing and came over to listen. When I was done, they clapped and told me how much they enjoyed the songs. I really liked that.”

The Carnegie Hall concert, which celebrated the achievements of Royal Conservatory program high scorers of 90% or above from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York, provided a chance for these exceptional students to take the stage in one of the world’s finest concert halls. Divided into two groups for the 90-minute showcase, the students were able to watch half of the performance from the audience. “It was a great opportunity to see and hear each other perform,” said Zelman. “There were mostly pianists recognized that evening and they were at all different levels, from preparatory to level 8. There was a great sense of community.”

“I want to thank my teacher, Mrs. Zelman,” said Peter. “She's always very encouraging, and I would not have gotten to where I am with piano without her.”

Peter will perform in the studio recital of Ida Zelman in the FSPA Recital Hall (38 Main Street) on June 11 and will be featured in the school’s annual Spring Concert at the Franklin High School auditorium in May. To learn more about The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program and instrumental instruction at the Franklin School for the Performing Arts, visit or call (508) 528-8668.

Listen to the FHS boys basketball play in the State Final game in Springfield

Jay Horrigan posted in All about Franklin Mass.
Jay Horrigan
March 17 at 3:31pm
Here is the link for our coverage of the Franklin Panthers Boys Basketball Team game tomorrow night! Please share!

FHS Basketball Game Link   Game starts at 5:30 PM

View on Facebook

FHS Panthers
FHS Panthers


"strong record of achievement and opportunities outside the classroom"

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:
"The School Committee has progressed in its search for a new superintendent, selecting two finalists - Holliston Assistant Superintendent Sara Ahern and Franklin Assistant Superintendent Peter Light - after a series of interviews Friday. 
The day-long program of interviews included Light, Ahern, Grafton Superintendent Jay Cummings and Sharon Assistant Superintendent John Marcus. The full committee asked questions of the candidates, as did Town Councilor Thomas Mercer, high school Principal Paul Peri, teachers association President Donna Grady and parent Sarah Mulcahy. 
Ahern and Light are now scheduled to appear at a community forum on March 20 to speak with the general public."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

FHS Panther at the new high school fields donated by the Graci family
FHS Panther at the new high school fields donated by the Graci family

Franklin Resident to Run Boston Marathon for MassGeneral Hospital for Children Pediatric Cancer Team

Franklin resident Jacob Youmell will run in the 121st Boston Marathon on April 17st in support of MassGeneral Hospital for Children’s pediatric cancer team, Fighting Kids’ Cancer ... One Step at a Time. Youmell will join an estimated 30,000 runners along the 26.2 mile course that spans from Hopkinton to Boylston Street in Boston. The funds raised by Youmell will support cutting-edge research and quality of life programming - such as child life services and art and music therapy - which help pediatric cancer patients and their families cope emotionally and developmentally with their illnesses.

Youmell, the director of digital strategy at Emerson College, is running in honor of his parents who succumbed to cancer in 2005 and 2008 and his brother along with all survivors who overcame the disease. The team, made up of 102 runners - including former patients and parents, MGH employees and hospital supporters - has set a fundraising goal of $1 million.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of John Hancock’s partnership with the Mass General Marathon Program. Since it was formed in 1998, Mass General’s Fighting Kids’ Cancer...One Step at a Time has raised more than $12 million that directly support the pediatric hematology-oncology program.

“I have a unique perspective into the lives of children undergoing live saving therapy at MGHfC,” says Howard Weinstein, MD, chief of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology at MGHfC and 17-year captain of the pediatric team. “Since the team’s inception, I’ve seen our runners get physically and emotionally involved in our mission to conquer childhood cancer. They go the extra mile and their support is vital to our continued holistic approach to cancer care.’

To learn more about the Fighting Kids’ Cancer...One Step at a Time team or help support Youmell, visit

Chili and Chowder Challenge - April 22

Chili and Chowder Challenge on April 22nd at the Medway VFW from Noon-4pm to benefit the Relay For Life. 

Local restaurants are being asked to submit their versions of Chili or Chowder for judging by the public. 

Tickets are $20 per person. There will be raffles, music, silent auctions and more.

Chili and Chowder Challenge - April 22
Chili and Chowder Challenge - April 22

Friday, March 17, 2017

Upcoming Events in Franklin, MA Area: FRI 3/17/17 - THU 3/23/17

FRIDAY 3/17/17
All Day   Last day for Franklin Lions clothing and Shoe Drive. Email to arrange pick up.
10:30am   Knitting Circle for Adults @ Franklin Public Library
5pm   3rd Annual Cultural Festival Applications Due
7pm   Alice @ Wonderland (HMMS Drama Club Production) @ HMMS
7:30pm   SOLD OUT: Disney’s Beauty and the Beast @ The Black Box

SATURDAY 3/18/17
9am-3pm   Book Sale @ Franklin Public Library
9-11am   Youth Baseball Clinic @ FHS
10am-1pm   Franklin Historical Museum Open
10:30am   Elephant and Piggie Party @ Franklin Public Library
12pm   Franklin Lions: Paint for a Cause @ Muse Bar, Patriot Place
12-2:30pm   Youth Baseball Clinic @ FHS  
6:30pm   He Said, She Said @ New England Chapel
7:30pm   SOLD OUT - Disney’s Beauty and the Beast @ The Black Box
7:30pm   Circle of Friends Coffeehouse: Boxcar Lilies @ FUSF

SUNDAY 3/19/17
7:30-10:30am   Sunday Morning Breakfast @ Franklin Rod and Gun Club
9am-12pm   Bag Sale @ Franklin Public Library
10am   Franklin Police and Fire 5K @ 50 Constitution Blvd.
12pm   Backyard Gardening: Planning and seed planting @ Franklin Agway
1-4pm   Franklin Historical Museum Open
2pm   SOLD OUT - Disney’s Beauty and the Beast @ The Black Box
2pm   Keep on the Grass Bluegrass Concert @ Franklin Public Library

MONDAY 3/20/17
6:30pm   Superintendent Search: Meet the Candidates @ Municipal Building
7-8:30pm   Learn To Cope Franklin Chapter Meeting @ FUSF

TUESDAY 3/21/16
7pm   Yankee Quilters Guild Meeting and Silent Auction (everyone welcome) @ St. John Episcopal Church

3:30-6pm  Teen Lounge! @ Franklin Public Library
4-7pm   HMEA Franklin Career Fair @ 8 Forge Parkway

THURSDAY 3/23/17
4pm   Family Coloring Book Club @ Franklin Public Library
6:30pm   Wine Tasting Fundraiser for Franklin Arts Academy Boosters @ Pour Richard’s
7-8pm   Healing Hearts Community Support Group @ Franklin YMCA
7:30pm   Stony Brook Camera Club @ Anglican Church of the Redeemer (31 Hayward St)

For the Town of Franklin Public Calendar click HERE.

For all other events and Franklin happenings click HERE.

*If you have any suggestions or events for the calendar, please email and/or

You can be the judge - Volunteers needed

The Science Department at Remington Middle School officially invites you to the annual Family STEAM night Tuesday, April 11th from 5 – 8pm. 

We are seeking volunteers to be judges for the 8th grade science projects. You do not need to be an expert in science, as a rubric with guiding questions is provided. Duties would include judging 2-4 projects per session. Snacks are provided.

The night is divided into 4 sessions, with a 5 minute break between sessions:

  • 5:00 – 5:45
  • 5:45 – 6:30
  • 6:30 – 7:15
  • 7:15 – 8:00

Any time you can commit would be helpful and extremely appreciated. Please email Jay Edmonds (Science Department) directly if interested. You can reach him at

annual Family STEAM night Tuesday, April 11
annual Family STEAM night Tuesday, April 11

Tri-County Showcases Senior Projects at Legislative Day at the State House

Tri-County RVTHS Seniors, Katherine Pensak of Walpole and Allyson Bettencourt of North Attleboro, recently exhibited their senior projects at the Library Showcase on Legislative Day at the State House in Boston, MA.

One of the highlights of the event was when Kate and Ally got to present their projects to various state legislators including Senator James Timilty (D-Walpole). "It was great to meet Kate Pensak and Ally Bettencourt at the State House. I was very impressed with the quality of the craftsmanship in each of their senior projects, said Senator Timilty. “Tri-County Regional High School consistently provides students access to an exceptional, well-rounded education."

“The cornerstone of learning at Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School rests on students’ ability to successfully integrate their academic and vocational-technical skills into real world applications”, said Superintendent Stephen Dockray. “The Tri-County Senior Project does just that. It is a cap stone project which is a requirement for graduation.”
Senator Jim Timilty (D-Walpole) (middle) pictured with Allyson Bettencourt of North Attleboro (left) and Katherine Pensak of Walpole (right).   (Photo courtesy of Tri-County)
Senator Jim Timilty (D-Walpole) (middle) pictured
with Allyson Bettencourt of North Attleboro (left)
and Katherine Pensak of Walpole (right).
 (Photo courtesy of Tri-County)

It all begins with an “idea”, formulated within the trade program area, but outside of the State Frameworks Curriculum. That idea is shaped by exhaustive research via school and community libraries. Web info, periodicals, technical papers, trade journals and code handbooks all contribute the fodder for product development.

The Senior Projects are the result of this extensive collaboration between the student, the Library Media Center, the English department and the various program trade areas. Our students benefit greatly from state funded resources such as online access and a wealth of resources and support services provided by Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners, Mass Library Systems and Massachusetts School Library Association.

The Tri-County Senior Project is a vehicle which integrates learning between academic and vocational areas thereby promoting literacy, critical-thinking, intellectual curiosity and life-long learning.

Franklin Public Library: Elephant and Piggie Party! - March 18, 10:30 AM

Elephant and Piggie Party! Saturday, March 18th, 10:30 a.m.

Did you know that March marks the 10th anniversary of Elephant and Piggie’s hilarious books? 

We’re going to celebrate, with a party in their honor! Come for snacks, crafts, activities, and a special reading of a few favorites!

Waiting Is Not Easy! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
Waiting Is Not Easy! (An Elephant and Piggie Book)

There are 25 books in the series for early readers written by Mo Willems

The Amazon link for Mo Willems is here

In the News: Family science night; police await lab results

From the Milford Daily News, articles of interest for Franklin:

"High school students and teachers worked to kindle scientific curiosity in young minds during Thursday's "Family Science Night" at the school. 
Visitors watched a liquid nitrogen demonstration, controlled robots, took part in forensics demonstrations and learned how a lemon could be a battery - among other things - through the course of the night. 
Science teacher Ann Ritchie said the event, put on by the school's Science National Honor Society, works to give younger children a firsthand look at the scientific concepts that underpin the world as we know it, and hopefully encourages them to explore further. 
"It's really all about the power of experience," she said. "We can talk all day in front of the class about theory and concepts, but to put it in front of the children encourages them to make connections."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

"A day after emergency personnel responded to a Stewart Street residence for a chemical incident, police are awaiting the analysis of items removed from the house. 
Deputy Police Chief James Mill said Thursday afternoon that experts were in the process of determining what substances were recovered from the 84 Stewart St. residence. 
Mill said there had not been an arrest related to the matter at this point. He emphasized that the scene is safe at this point. 
According to a Franklin Police Department release, the town fire department responded to a medical emergency at the house at about 8 a.m. Wednesday and personnel noted several chemical items that raised concerns."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required)

Franklin Liquors can help you get ready for St Patrick's

Franklin Liquors can help you get ready for St Patrick's. Check out their newsletter online

Franklin Liquors can help you get ready for St Patrick's
Franklin Liquors can help you get ready for St Patrick's

Thursday, March 16, 2017

FM #128 - Special School Committee Mtg - Superintendent Search Candidates Announced

FM #128
This internet radio show or podcast is number 128 in the series for Franklin Matters. This captured the audio recording of the special School Committee meeting held March 15, 2017.

The meeting was rescheduled due to the snow storm on the 14th and had a shortened agenda. The School Committee heard the report from the Superintendent Search firm HYA on the four new candidates, and confirmed their timeline for interviews, site visits, and decision.

The School Committee went into Executive Session, not to return to an open meeting, for a separate legal matter.  

My notes from the meeting have been posted to the Franklin Matters webpage.

Without further ado, here is the recording of the meeting


This brings the recording of the March 15 School Committee meeting to a close.
This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but I can't do it alone. I can use your help.
How can you help?
If you like this, please tell your friends and neighbors.
If you don't like this, please let me know.

Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements.
Thank you for listening.
For additional information, please visit
If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com

I hope you enjoy!

You can also subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes = search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"

subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters on iTunes
subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters on iTunes

Reminder: Dr Potee to speak on "The Adolescent Brain and the Physiology of Addiction" - Thursday, 7:00 PM

SAFE Community Conversation
features Dr. Ruth Potee
7:00 pm, THURSDAY, MARCH  16, 2017
Franklin High School Auditorium
The SAFE Coalition's Community Conversation series continues on Thursday March 16th at 7:00 PM, when nationally recognized addiction expert Dr. Ruth Potee will speak on "The Adolescent Brain and the Physiology of Addiction". The program will take place in the Franklin High School Auditorium. You can view the Local Town Pages report on the event by clicking here.
The event is being co-sponsored by the Public Schools of Franklin and Medway, Mike Morrissey and the Norfolk District Attorney's Office, the Representatives Jeffrey N. Roy (10th Norfolk District) and Shawn Dooley (9th Norfolk District).
Board certified in Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine, Dr. Potee is a physician with Valley Medical Group in Greenfield, providing a full scope of family medicine with special interests in women's health, pediatrics, addiction treatment, psychiatric illness, and pain management.
Since 2013, she has co-chaired the Healthcare Solutions of the Opioid Task Force of Franklin County and North Quabbin. As a school physician, she has provided training and curriculum for school nurses throughout western and central Massachusetts on adolescent substance abuse and addiction. Additionally, she is the medical director for the Franklin County House of Corrections, a position she assumed in 2014 that oversees care for 300 inmates in the county.
Dr. Potee's talk will focus on the impact of substance use on the adolescent brain and strategies parents may employ to assist their children in making healthy decisions.

S.A.F.E. is a coalition of community partners who have come together to provide support, education, treatment options, and coping mechanisms for those affected by substance abuse disorder. We do so by empowering those affected, including their families, with the tools necessary to succeed on their journey to recovery. We understand that while I can't, we can.
Copyright © 2017 SAFE Coalition, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you opted in from a SAFE event or meeting.

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SAFE Coalition
PO Box 434
Franklin, Ma 02038

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Rep Roy: Constituent Open Office Hours for April

State Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin) announced today that constituent open office hours will be held in Medway and Franklin for the Month of April on the following days:

  • Franklin– April 13th, 9:00-10:00AM, Franklin Senior Center – 10 Daniel McCahill Street, Franklin, MA.
  • Medway – April 15th, 9:00-10:00AM, Galante’s Restaurant – 320 Village St, Medway, MA 02053

Ryan Arego, his Legislative Aide, will be accompanying him.

Representative Roy stated that all office hours are open to any residents of Franklin and Medway who may have questions or concerns that they wish to bring to his attention. Walk-ins are welcome; no appointment necessary. He looks forward to hearing from you.

He also invites all constituents to call him at his State House office at (617)722-2430, stop by Room 236 in the State House, or email him at

Franklin Senior Center
Franklin Senior Center

FHS boys basketball comes back to get to the State Final

"You had to see it to believe it. 
After Springfield Central’s Maickel DeJesus made two free throws to put the Eagles up 51-43 with just 20 seconds left in the game, fans started filing out of the DCU Center in Worcester. It’s a move they’ll likely regret. 
On the ensuing Franklin possession, freshman Chris Edgehill (12 points) hit a an off balance three from the corner to cut the lead to 51-46, and then DeJesus immediately stepped out of bounds receiving the inbounds pass. Edgehill got fouled before Franklin even inbounded the ball, and hit both shots and then Springfield Central tipped their inbounds pass out of bounds after initially being deflected by Franklin’s Paul Mahon. 
Down three with eight seconds left, Franklin went right back to Edgehill, who buried a three from almost the exact same spot as his first one to tie the game at 51 all. 
With no timeout called from either side, Springfield Central hurried down the court to try to win it, and after the initial attempt by De Jesus missed, Jashidi Pressley was there for the follow and hit a floater to give Springfield Catholic what appeared to be a 53-51 win, but while the Eagles stormed the court and pig piled on top of Pressley, the referees conferred and waved off the basket, sending the game to overtime."

Continue reading the game recap By Joe Clark, Student Reporter

Franklin’s Josh Macchi attacks the basket against Springfield Center. (Peter Raider/ Student Photographer)
Franklin’s Josh Macchi attacks the basket against Springfield Center. (Peter Raider/ Student Photographer)

Keep on the Grass - Concert Sunday Mar 19, at the Franklin Library

"Keep On The Grass provides traditional and old tyme Bluegrass Music for all occasions in the Boston area. We play private parties, corporate events and music festivals. 
The band is Joe Rebeiro on acoustic guitar and vocals, Brian Sargent on mandolin, acoustic guitar and vocals, and Ted Mello on upright bass and vocals. 
With 3 part harmonies and a groovin rhythm section these boys will get you on your feet dancing and singing along with familiar bluegrass songs!"

Keep on the Grass - Concert Sunday Mar 19, at the Franklin Library
Keep on the Grass - Concert Sunday Mar 19, at the Franklin Library

Find out more about the band on Facebook

or on the web

or at ReverbNation

Join us on March 30th for a private showing of SCREENAGERS

Presented by Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School
Thursday, Mar 30, 2017 at 7:00 PM EDT
Event Photo
Good afternoon,
The Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public School is excited to share our next the details of an upcoming Parent Education Night. We'd like to cordially invite you to join us on March 30th for a private showing of SCREENAGERS. We also hope that you might consider share the event with parents in your community. The event is open to the public and you can purchase tickets for $10 each:
"Award-winning SCREENAGERS probes into the vulnerable corners of family life, including the director's own, and depicts messy struggles, over social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Through surprising insights from authors and brain scientists solutions emerge on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world."
Attend This Event
Presented by Benjamin Franklin Classical Charter Public SCHOOL

The ImpactFlow team hopes you have a great time!
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