Spring 2019

Ah! Spring. The year is (slowly) coming to a close, but the work never really seems to be done, does it? There are always  summer workshops and seminars, rooms to clean, and then all too quickly rooms to ready for the opening all over again. And so we move on. Each year after another. And for those of us engaged in Social Studies and Civic Education, the times are rich. The Social Studies Frameworks and a roll-out of a new MCAS Social Studies Exam is at our doorstep. Let’s all find a way to make it all happen for the best, for we are the most integral part of the universal mission statement of our schools – to create/develop participating, active citizens. I think we all recognize the need for those citizens now more than ever. So rest up over the summer months as you can, but know that the mission we are immersed in is one that genuinely holds great importance.   In other MCSS matters, a few points of interest (or concern):  

  • MCSS needs you. We need your voice. As a member, as a teacher of Social Studies, of History, of Government, Geography, Psychology, Economics, Sociology, of grades K-12.
  • We need you. If you can not find a reason to join MCSS as a member, attend a workshop in the the Summer Content Institute.
  • Attend NERC (#50 is coming up!), Nominate someone for an award (see below).
  • We need YOU!

MCSS Awards – Below is the list of Awards Recipients for the 2018-19 Academic Year. The Awards will be given out at a reception at the Four Points in Norwood (Rte 1) on May 9. Join us please to congratulate our teacher and educators, and to celebrate the Social Studies.

William Spratt Award for Teaching Excellence – Secondary Social Studies 

Heather Willinger – Scituate High School 

William Spratt Award for Teaching Excellence – Middle School Social Studies 

Jaimee Martin – West Bridgewater Middle-Senior High 

Barbara Capron Award for Excellence in Elementary Teaching 

Carolyn DiClementi – Granger Elementary School, Agawam 

Charles Mitsakos Award Outstanding Supervisor Award 

Virginia Turner – Barnstable Public Schools 

John Reilly Award for Excellence in Teaching Geography 

Janice Fairchild – Hansom Middle School 

Richard Aieta Award Promising New Teacher 

Alex Hoyt – Hudson Public Schools
Beatriz Motto – Rindge Avenue Upper School – Cambridge

Don Salvucci Award for Excellence in Promoting Civic Education

Kaitlin Moran – Brighton High School

Janna Bremer Friend of Social Studies Award

Senator Harriet Chandler 

  • We held the 49th NERC this past March at Framingham State University, and we honestly were both pleased and disappointed. Pleased in that so many commented on how great the workshops were, and the countless comments of how much people enjoyed the presentations and keynote speakers. However, we had disappointments and need to share these with you as well.

1. Our attendance was very low. We recognize the declining attendance in all fields, not just Social Studies, but there is still quality to be gained from sitting with passionate educators and sharing thoughts, concerns, methodologies, and insights. NERC 50 is on the horizon for the coming year, and we must acknowledge that 50 deserves celebration, but also that it could well be a “thing” of the past without greater attendance. Please let us know what you would like to see at NERC and we will do our best to provide it for you. 2. Our vendors spend significant funds to display their products and services and offer to our attendees help in any way they can. They too were disappointed in the number of attendees, of those who visited their tables, and in the space they had available to them. We will do better next time. 3. More people would like to see NERC return to Boston and a hotel setting. We would like that too, but recognize the cost factor in doing so. It is something we will work on in the months ahead.  

  • And it is a great pleasure to announce our leadership for the coming year. Bill McGarrigle from Taunton HS will be the President of MCSS and he brings many new ideas and great enthusiasm to the Council. Our Vice-Presidents will be Jenn DiFrancesca from the Shrewsbury Schools System and her leadership and tech savvy are both welcomed and needed. Both are tireless workers in their own systems and bring the same dedication and enthusiasm to MCSS. We promise to provide as much support for their success as we can, and thank them for stepping up. Our ship is always steadied by the ever present leadership of Kathy Babini, our Executive Director, and Gorman Lee, our Program Director. They make the job of president and vice-president much lighter a burden, as Kathy and Gorman do all the heavy lifting.

  Wishing everyone a smooth end to the school year, restful adventures throughout the summer, and renewed energy come Labor Day!   

Norm Shacochis Acting President, MCSS 2018-19