School Committee members were surprised to learn last night that smoking Kiss is still a problem at the high school. In a curriculum update from the health and physical education department, a student representative from Students Against Destructive Decisions, Sarah Krawiec, said people were still smoking in the bathrooms, despite the fact that the doors to some were unhinged to help prevent it.

School Committee member Patrick Kennelly, who serves as the high school liaison, was shocked it’s still an issue.
“I thought it was resolved. I was told numerous times it was resolved,” Kennelly said.

Kennelly said smoking in the high school has always been an issue, but in December administrators took main doors off bathrooms in the upper “A” and science wings as a remedy.

“The thought was by taking the doors off, it would resolve itself,” he said.

Kennelly said the stall doors are still attached, and the design of the bathrooms still allows for privacy.
“Still, it’s unacceptable,” said member Mike Walsh.

School Committee member and Health Agent Paul Mazzuchelli said the Health Department fines students up to $300 for multiple school-smoking offenses.

Mazzuchelli said the department also conducts various compliance checks, recruiting teens to try buying tobacco products from stores in town.

He said the last sting was held about three weeks ago, and only one of 43 establishments sold to the teen.
“It was impressive, but a word to the vendors – we continually do more and more compliance checks,” he said. Kennelly said he will talk with school security director Dave Cutler to find a resolution.

In other businesses, Superintendent Robert Tremblay said he’s offered the principal position at Memorial Elementary School to Lisa Burns.

Burns currently serves as director of Shining Star Early Childhood Center, She was offered the Memorial position on Monday.

Tremblay said current Memorial Principal Francis Anderson will retire at the end of the year, a move which has allowed him to consolidate positions.

He said he’s hoping to move Burns to Memorial, and develop a consolidated leadership structure for Shining Star. “I’ve consolidated the leadership team from seven positions to six. One of those leaders (Burns) has been moved into another role,” he said after the meeting.

Tremblay said he’s still working on the structure for Shining Star, but that he’ll be at Memorial today to address any questions or concerns about the move. In other business, member Lori Baranauskas was named chairwoman of the committee.

Baranauskas edged out Kennelly, who was nominated by Patrick Holland. Newly re-elected member Christine Boyle was named vice chairperson.