This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

McKeown Spirit Shines Through



Thanks to McKeown PTO President Julie DeSilva for contributing the following post, and to Kris Silverstein for the above photo.


No one knows how to have a good time like TEAM McKeown and Wednesday night was no exception! Staff, families, and students all gathered to celebrate.

Champions Barbeque Team served burgers and dogs and watermelon under a bright, sunny sky. Chris Culkeen spun the tunes and had everyone singing and dancing. At one point the teachers and students had a YMCA dance off, and, because McKeown is a huge Red Sox school, the principal, Dr. Colleen McBride, joined the kids in a rousing rendition of Sweet Caroline.

Of course McKeown has plenty of Celtics fans too and there was an ongoing pickup game with students, staff, and parents going all night long. Everyone was given a TEAM McKeown 2008 keychain as a keepsake, and Dr. McBride gave a short speech praising all who make up the school community and recognizing the PTO executive board, who were presented with flowers from some 5th grade students.

All the groups that make up TEAM McKeown were recognized with a balloon release, which was probably the most emotional part of the evening. There were folks from every school in the city quietly working in the background doing cleanup, setup, and serving dessert. It was a really great way to show the folks from McKeown that they are not alone in this new journey. The last PTO memo of the year sums it up nicely:

We leave behind a building, we take with us
the spirit of TEAM McKeown.

Below: McKeown Staff does the YMCA at the TEAM McKeown Celebration of Excellence and TEAM McKeown kids do the Cotton-Eyed Joe! Hundreds of staff, kids, and family members turned out to celebrate the spirit of TEAM McKeown. Photos by Julie DeSilva.

The Salem News has the story here, and a couple more photos here and here.


Good luck to all TEAM McKeown parents and students. We are sure that we speak for all in the other school communities, when we say that the spirit you have shown over the past three months has been an inspiration to us all. We know you will all be welcomed with open arms in your new schools.

6/21 UPDATE: Saturday's Salem News has a story on McKeown's last day, and there is also on online slideshow. The Beverly Citizen also has a report.

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