Category Archives: Carol’s Corner

New Middle High School Assistant Principal Hired

I am pleased to announce that a new Assistant Principal for the Middle High School has been hired. I would like to welcome Maria Lysen to the district.  She began  working this week and she has hit the ground running getting acclimated, meeting people and preparing for the opening of school in another six weeks.

Maria is an experienced Assistant Principal who loves kids and enjoys working with people. She has worked previously in both vocational and traditional public schools. Most recently, she worked at Gloucester High School for the past 5 years .  Prior to that  Maria was an Associate Principal in Greenfield, and before that, a Curriculum Coordinator at Montachusett Regional Vocational High School.

We were very fortunate that the timing of her move to the north shore and the opening for an AP here coincided because I am confident that  Maria will be an excellent addition to the leadership team at the Middle High School. Welcome aboard Maria!

Congratulations to Margaret Maher

I am so happy to announce that last Sunday Penn Brook Principal Margaret Maher became a grandmother again! Her daughter Maeve  delivered a healthy baby girl named Tress Margaret who is just gorgeous! Everyone is doing well and I could not be happier for the entire family! welcome to the world beautiful Tress Margaret!


MHS Students- Rec Center Focus Group Sign-up

We have now created a sign up genius link for an students in grades 7-12 who might want to participate in a focus group to help us create a MHS Recreation Center to open this coming school year upstairs in the Perley School. It is an amazing space but it needs to be filled with resources and activities  that students will want to do. It needs to be “THEIR” space so we need help. Consider signing up using the link below. All ideas are welcome!

Plans to Launch Rec Center for MHS Students Needs Student Voice

I am so happy that we are moving forward with a plan  to set up and operate a  Teen Rec Center on the second floor and the grounds of the Perley School. I have been wanting to do this since we built the new Penn Brook School and now it appears that it is coming to fruition! There has been a need for teens in Georgetown to have a place to gather for years but for many reasons we did not have the resources such as space and staffing  to move this vision.  Happily, now we have a group of excited people from the various youth organizations in town who all think this is a good idea and are ready to put their time and some resources behind this venture to hopefully have a soft opening  for students in grades 7-12 some time this fall.

The  Last Attitudes and Behavior Survey , that was administered to students in grades 6-12  last year ,revealed that the youth in Georgetown would like a place to gather with friends to engage in healthy activities and have fun. This project is one way the community can work together to build positive assets in our kids. We are lucky that we have some good models in other towns and recently I had the opportunity to visit the Teen Center in Newburyport where they have an active program. They were very gracious about sharing their ideas with us about how they got started , set up the space and developed  the various programs they offer. Just like our Maker Spaces, they relied heavily on donations from members of the community which we will also be seeking once we have a list of what we need.  We will be sending  out a sign up genius at some time in the early fall  and would appreciate any help you can provide.

Here is how you can help right now!  We are looking for students in grades 7-12 to help us design the center. We all know that it does no good for the adults to create a space that the students are not interested in going to so we would like to  hold focus groups with as many young people as are interested in coming to help us make some important decisions. We want this space to belong to the kids and therefore we need to hear their voices. We are tentatively planning to meet on August 21 and/or 22nd at the Perley School at 6:30 PM.  Pizza and drinks will be served to those who attend. We are trying to get this word out on various social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat and others I probably don’t even know about.  We would like to know how many students to expect so watch out for a sign up message that will be circulating on social media or of course you or your child can drop me a note.

The young people who come are not committing to anything but just helping us know what they would like the center to include so we can move forward in getting the resources in place to provide them with a cool space to gather and have fun with their friends. Thanks for spreading the word! If you know someone who has ideas but might not be able to attend a meeting, let them know I am happy to meet with them or they can drop me a note at or by calling me at 978-352-5777 ext. 140. We want to hear from as many voices as possible so share widely.

I appreciate your help!

Dr. Tanner Needs Our Help!

I am writing to share a letter I received from former Penn Brook Principal Donna Tanner  asking for our help as she personally  battles a serious medical crisis. As you will see from the letter, Dr. Tanner has a serious kidney disease that has progressed to the stage where she needs a kidney transplant to avoid being placed on dialysis to keep her alive.  As a former employee and a friend to many, Donna gave many years to the children of this town as part of our community  and  I would like to do everything possible to help her in her fight.  Please feel free to share this information with your networks in an effort to help find a donor for Donna. I know that Donna will appreciate it!  Please read the letter from Donna below.

Dear Family and Friends,

I am writing to share with you my current health challenge and ask for some help. As you all know, I am a very private person so writing this letter is very difficult. Many of you might not know – I have had polycystic kidney disease most of my life – it is an inherited disease. My Dad had polycystic kidneys and passed away because he spent too much time on dialysis to be eligible for a transplant. My brother also has PKD and has had 3 kidney transplants over the years. I watched both my father and brother go on dialysis and I saw the toll it took on both. My brother is one of the strongest people I know.

Well, my kidneys have begun to fail and they will not be able to keep me alive. On a steamy day in July, I went to the doctor for a routine checkup. I was feeling fine, but a basic blood test revealed that my kidneys were functioning at about 15 percent of normal capacity. One nephrologist I went to predicted that within roughly six months to a year I would need to begin dialysis. Three days a week, for four debilitating hours at a time, I would be tethered to a blood-cleansing machine. Even simple things like traveling to see friends or to golf would be limited. This would very likely continue for at least five years until my name crawled to the top of the national list of people waiting for kidneys from the newly deceased. On average, 12 names, the death toll from the ever-growing organ shortage, would be scratched off the list each day. So what I am facing now for treatment options are limited to dialysis treatments or a kidney transplant.

Humbly, I am asking if you or anyone you know might be willing to be tested as a potential living donor. Living donor transplants represent the best opportunity for positive long-term outcomes, and provided I am able to find a suitable match, my medical team is confident this surgery is my greatest chance for living a longer,healthier life.

I realize that donating a kidney is an incredibly generous act, as well as a major sacrifice. I wish that I did not have to ask anyone to make such a sacrifice, but I am incredibly grateful that this option exists.Asking a family member or a friend to consider donating a kidney to me is difficult, but it greatly improves my chances of getting a transplant. A living kidney donation typically lasts longer and has better function. I am an O bloodtype– so a match is important for the success of the transplant.

If donating a kidney to me is something you would be willing to do, you can confidentially contact my transplant team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital directly at

The success of a kidney transplant is staying off regular dialysis treatments. Finding a kidney for a transplant is not easy. Time is not on my side. Some wait for years; many die while waiting. The average wait time is five years or more for a kidney. If you can help, please do. If you know anyone who might, please forward this on. Forwarding this to your family, friends, work, school, congregation, or any other communities you belong to would be most gratefully appreciated.

You might not know a lot about living donation – I know I didn’t before kidney disease affected my family. Understandably, some people are afraid about the surgery and what living with one kidney will mean for them. Here’s some basic information about kidney donation:

  • You only need one kidney to live a healthy, long life. (My Mom donated her kidney to my brother 20 years ago and is now 85 years old)
  • Most donor surgery is done by a small incision laparoscopically meaning through tiny incisions.
  • The recuperation period is usually fairly quick, generally less than two weeks.
  • The cost of your evaluation and surgery will be covered by my insurance.

You will have your own separate team of healthcare professionals to evaluate you as a living donor. Their job is to look out for YOUR best interests. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for helping me by sharing my story with everyone you know. I am hopeful my efforts will help me receive a kidney sooner before I have to go on dialysis. Even though my sister in law’s kidney was not a match for my brother she was tested to swap her kidney so my brother could receive a kidney in a swap, he then found a match – but she decided to donate her kidney to a family friend and both are doing fantastic!

For someone to be an organ donor is incredible but to donate an organ while you are still alive is the ultimate sacrifice and one of the most inspirational act anyone can do. As you read this, I want to be clear that I would only want a donor that does not feel forced or pressured in any way into donating to me. I understand that this is an extremely personal decision. As I said before, I am doing this with the hope that it may yield a positive result for me. I would be happy to tell you more about my story

Thanks for taking the time to read my letter and considering making a live donor transplant. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions (978) 273-2539 or call my transplant coordinator, Nancy Minghella (617) 525-8409,and have a confidential conversation about living kidney donation, and get answers to any questions you have. If you want to be a potential donor your first contact must be to a Living Donor nurse at –to submit the application and take a blood test to see if you are a match for O type blood.

Thank you so much. Words cannot express how much this would mean to me.


Donna L. Tanner

Final Bus Update

I spoke to the bus company this morning and the good news is the routes are almost finalized based on the current registrations. As we have stated many times, our goal is to be able to publish the routes earlier in August and not have to change them several items due to last minute registrations and overcrowded buses.

If you have not yet registered , use this link and Barry Belanger will work with you to register even if you can no longer find the original e-mail that was sent out with information about your child’s unique ID. Barry will have that and he can plug it in for you.  The routes will be finalized by the end of the first week in August and published during the week of August 13th.

If you have already registered, Barry Belanger will be sending bus passes in the mail once the routes are published so you should definitely have them for the first day of school.

Just a reminder that registrations are being honored in the order they are received after the deadline and, at this point, the bus capacity has not been reached on any of the buses. However, you should also be aware that once the buses are filled, anyone who has not registered will be assigned to the closest bus stop to their residence that is not filled. I know this will be inconvenient but having to change the routes multiple times in the last three years once the routes were established has been a hardship for many people. Hopefully this year that will not be the case but the bus company asked me to remind people to register before August 5th at the latest.

I am looking forward to the best year ever concerning bus transportation and thank you for working with us to ensure that this will be the case. Any questions feel free to contact any of the following people. Barry Belanger at, or Carol Jacobs at

Here is the registration link