A group of Gloucester parents and state Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante, D-Gloucester, will be honored June 14 for their activism in support of public schools.
The parents and Ferrante will all be presented Activists for Public Schools Awards for their efforts to "protect and support Gloucester public schools," according to Citizens for Public Schools, which will present the awards during its 30th anniversary celebration that night in Brookline.
The Gloucester parents — all plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging the granting of a charter and the continued operation of the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School — are Peter Dolan, Erika Andrews, Diane Bevins, Hugo Burnham, Kevin Clancy, Jane Cunningham, Martin Del Vecchio, Fredericke Grotjahn, Jason Grow, Jonathan Hardy, Shelley Morgan, David San Paolo, Leora Ulrich, and Maria Zervos.
The parents' Dolan v. Chester suit alleges that Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester and the state Board of Elementary and Secondary Education ignored and violated their own regulations when they granted a charter to the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School. The parents argue that their children's education is being harmed by the diversion of funds to a school that was chartered illegally.
Citizens for Public Schools is celebrating 30 years of working to promote, preserve and protect public schools in the courts, in the public policy and political arenas, at the state and national levels.
The group came into being in 1982 to wage a successful campaign against a ballot question calling for public aid to private schools. Now, 30 years later, it continues this important work, fighting for adequate and equitable school funding, excellent public education that meets the needs of the whole child, against privatization of public schools and against the overuse and misuse of standardized testing.
The Italians may be coming
The May issue of the Italian magazine In Viaggio ("Travel") features a four-page spread on America's oldest seaport.
The article by Eleonora Della Ratta talks about Gloucester's roots in Terrasini, in the Palermo province of Sicily, Italy. Mentioned is the drowning of Gloucester resident Giuseppe "Joe" Cracchiolo, 47, who fell off the fishing boat he was working on in New Bedford; Cracchiola was born in Terrasini.
The article also mentions St. Peter's Fiesta and how Salvatore Favazza commissioned the creation of a statue of St. Peter in 1926. The following year, the statue was paraded through Gloucester's streets in the spirit of his Sicilian homeland where St. Mary of the Graces is beloved and shown gratitude during her feast day and the procession held in her honor.
Featured are photos by Gianni Attalmi of Virgilio's and Caffe Sicilia on Main Street, the Man at the Wheel, the sign at Mondello Square, and Sicilian native and former fisherman Rosario Maletti at DeMarco's Cleaners on Washington Street.
The flag at the Veterans Center will fly this week in honor of Korean veteran Philip Salvatore Verga Jr. Born July 2, 1929, he entered the U.S. Army on May 21, 1952. An infantryman, the corporal served with Company A 5th Combat Regiment. He served in the U.S., Germany, Africa, Italy, and Korea.
Verga was awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze stars, Presidential Unit Commendation, Combat Infantry Badge, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation.
He was discharged May 5, 1954, and died June 2, 1996.
The flag was requested to fly in his honor by his wife, Mary and children and grandchildren. Anyone wishing to fly a flag in honor of a deceased veteran can call the Office of Veterans' Services at 978-281-9740.