Monthly Archives: July 2018

SEPAC Announces It’s Shining Stars!

Shining Star Awards – 2018

Once again, the SEPAC did an amazing job bringing the community together, and presenting their Shining Star Awards to those individuals who went above and beyond during the 2017-2018 school year to support special education.  This year’s winners follow…


Megan Kelley, Teacher

Ms. Meghan Kelley has been an exceptional special education teacher as she goes above and beyond assisting children academically as well as emotionally.  One child refers to Ms. Kelley as being ‘magical’ as she is supportive and utilizes empathy and understanding in what can be the most challenging of circumstances. A parent stated “My child has come so far with his academics, which we are so incredibly proud of but more importantly, our child is happy and confident in school work as well as improving relationships with peers.  We are incredibly grateful to have our child in her care…………… It means so much to us to have peace of mind knowing he is in Ms. Kelley’s hands.”  A child shared this “I’m so excited for you to receive this award. I’m so proud and grateful for you because you’re a good teacher to me by helping me learn and understand when I am struggling. Thank you for being magical!”

Cathy DeWitt, Librarian

Cathy DeWitt is the Children’s Librarian at the Georgetown Peabody Library.  Cathy DeWitt has been so kind to reach out and ask individual parents, even after children have a difficult moment in the library, if there was anything she could do to help support the child or the family.  Even when a child has struggled with issues at events which others are attending, all of the children were felt welcome, included, and, valued as participants. Cathy also went above and beyond by consulting with an Occupational Therapist when setting up the children’s work/craft space in the library to make sure it was appropriate to encourage writing and coloring at all developmental levels.  Cathy is constantly bringing great programs to our community.

Georgetown is fortunatey to have a professional children’s librarian who is so empathetic, accepting greeting children with a smile every time children and families visit the library.

Molly Burr, Teacher

Molly Burr is a very dedicated Special Education Teacher who teaches the Sprouts program at the Penn Brook School.  Molly is passionate about supporting and helping children grow and develop while working hard to keep the children engaged while creating a fun atmosphere to learn.  Molly creates great programs for each child and makes the Sprouts program a positive learning experience for all.

Krystin Bono, Teacher at Futures

Ms. Krystin is always upbeat and cheerful, which creates a positive environment for children and adults while making a lasting impression on each and every child.  Ms. Krystin is patient and kind always taking the time to inform parents about a child’s experience at the end of the day.  Ms. Krystin fosters friendships, independence, fun and is instrumental in the development of children.  Families who have the privilege of working with Ms. Krystin can never express enough gratitude.

Joe Pitella, Teacher

Mr Pitella has truly been a shining star in the lives of many children.  Mr. Pitella sees beyond the adolescent exterior and is able to find the strengths of the children in his classroom.  Mr. Pitella, a talented teacher, is able to assist in building off each and every child’s strengths while challenging each student to grow. One parent has stated, “Mr. Pitella looks past the  tough exterior of our child who just wanted to be accepted for who she is……….from the bottom of our hearts, we are thankful.”

Crossing Guard Joe

Crossing Guard Joe from the Perley School keeps children and families safe while crossing North St.  Mr. Joe has always takes the time to engage special education children in conversation- even when if a child is unable to adequately respond due to a disabling condition.  Crossing Guard Joe has built many positive relationships over the years.  Children often miss Crossing Guard Joe when they transition from the Perley to the Penn Brook School.

Safety Officer Henry Olshefsky

Safety Officer Henry Olshefsky was the first professional in the Georgetown community to embrace the concept of what is now the SEPAC’s Annual Trick of Trunk fundraiser.  Officer Olshefsky has provided his professionalism as well as behind the scenes guidance and support in the planning and implementation of the annual SEPAC Trick or Trunk fundraiser. The money raised from the annual Trick or Trunk event allows the SEPAC to give back to the Special Education community.  Georgetown is fortunate to have Safety Officer Olshefsky in our community.  The SEPAC thanks and looks forward to future collaboration with Safety Officer Olshelfsky in the future.

Senator Barbara L’Italien

Senator Barbara LÍtalien is a champion for Special Education children and families.  Senator LÍtalien reaches out and listens to all members of the Special Education community. A constituent once offered Senator LÍatlien an idea that has turned into proposed legislation for all children in Massachusetts to be screened for Dyslexia.  Senator LÍtalien authored the most specific and thorough bill with regard to Dyslexia screening.  Senator L’Italien, a parent of a child who has managed disabling conditions, has worked tirelessly for all children and families in Massachusetts.  We thank and honor this State Senator for the multitude of contributions to children and families throughout the Commonwealth and beyond by presenting this Shining Star Award.

Karrah Briley, LICSW

Karrah Briley, LICSW works with great care, professionalism, thoroughness and thoughtfulness with students of the school district.  Ms. Briley is a highly trained and conducts herself in a very professional manner.  Students feel comfortable and safe with Ms. Briley while developing a trusting therapeutic relationship. Ms. Briley is responsible for the care and treatment of a large number of students in Georgetown and handles these responsibilities in a professional manner.  Ms. Briley is respectful towards children, parents and professionals alike.


I would like to personally thank the SEPAC board, membership, and especially Tom Stewart and Chantel Pszenny for all of their work this year.  There is so much value added as a result of their hard work and efforts.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Jack Tiano

Director of Student Services

July 2018

July 22, 2018

Dear Members Of The Georgetown Community:

It has been awhile since I have written.  Life is so busy both personally and professionally. Please know that I appreciate the thoughts that many of you have sent to me.  Also know that I am here and available all summer should you need to chat.

So much has happened in the past few months.  Once again, Georgetown saw an end to a successful school year.  Graduation was wonderful, even though it was so hard saying goodbye to Principal Lucia. I only had the opportunity to work with him for a short period, but I am so grateful for our time together.  He taught me so much about the Georgetown community, the workings of the system, and best practices for educating middle and high school students.  Most importantly, I have a plethora of respect for his commitment to children and leadership within the district.  Peter, you will be sorely missed.  Enjoy your retirement.

We also had to say goodbye to our assistant principal at the Middle High School, Heidi Mongeau.  Shortly after spending some time with Mrs. Mongeau, it was obvious to me that we shared a common philosophy in the education of our children.  She believes in educating the whole child. She believes that the way to have an impact on student learning is through relationship building, and does so with a strong presence and positive programming and interventions.  I am sure you all join me in wishing her the best in her new challenges working within the Triton School District.

Even though the district will need some time to recover from these losses, change is a good thing.  And our new principal, Dan Richards, has so much to offer.  He is an experienced educator and administrator, and brings with him a wealth of knowledge and a caring and empathetic ear to Georgetown.  In early conversations with Mr. Richards, he has demonstrated a passion towards social emotional learning, and a willingness to partner with me to implement strategies and interventions throughout the school.  I am very much looking forward to beginning our work together.

The end of the school year is always busy and challenging, wrapping up one year and planning for the next.  Early preparation for our summer camps and tutoring has proven beneficial, and the first few weeks of programming went off without a hitch. This year, we were able to reach even more students, adding students entering grade 2 to the Penn Brook Camp.

Lastly, I would like to thank the Georgetown community for their support of the school budget.  It was nice to see the community band together to provide for our students. I am proud to say that the special education finances have come in under budget for my first two years in the district. In fact, FY18 was the first time in ten years that the district didn’t need to freeze the budget.  It just goes to show that all students can be successfully educated in our schools with a little creativity and a lot of hard work and effort from our staff.

I hope you all find some time to enjoy this summer. Stay safe and stay happy.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Jack Tiano

Director of Student Services