Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of 9/11, a day that left a tragic and indelible mark upon our nation. Each time I see the searing images of that day replayed in the media, I am instantly transported back in time to that Tuesday morning in September. My wife and I had just celebrated the birth of our second child on August 23rd and I was in my second week in a new job at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, based in Arlington, VA, just a stone’s throw away from the Pentagon. The weather was beautiful that Tuesday morning as I took the Metro to Arlington. Not long after arriving at my office, our communications director told me that a plane had crashed into one of the Twin Towers in New York. I followed him into his office, where a growing number of staff members had gathered to watch the live coverage on a small television. To our horror, we watched as another plane crashed into the second tower, making it clear that this was no accident. I immediately called home to be sure my wife knew what was happening. For the next 30 minutes, it wasn’t clear what we should be doing as we continued to watch the live broadcast of the events in New York. This all seemed somewhat distant, until we learned that a third plane had crashed into the Pentagon a short distance away and there was speculation that more planes were on the way, targeting sites in the Washington area. We made the decision to evacuate our offices and began to organize carpools to ensure that staff members with cars could assist others, like me, who had no way to leave once the subway system had been closed. I’ll never forget exiting our office that day and seeing the black smoke from the Pentagon billowing in the air. What was equally jarring was the sight of thousands of people leaving Washington on foot to escape what was feared to come. Cell phone calls became nearly impossible as the circuits were overloaded with people trying to reach family and friends amidst the unfolding events. As we crept along in traffic, no one in our car was speaking and each of us, save the driver, kept looking to the sky, particularly as we heard the roar of military jets overhead.
I’m guessing nearly any one of us could likely recount in similar detail your memories from 9/11. As unsettling as it is for me to reflect on that day, I can only imagine how much more challenging it must be for those who lost members of their immediate family and close friends. It’s unfortunate that the feeling of solidarity and unity that seemed so strong immediately following 9/11, dissipated so quickly and has not been repeated since, even in the face of the pandemic, which has resulted in the loss of life on an even greater scale.
Tomorrow, I hope you’ll pause at some point to reflect on 9/11 and honor the memory of the many lives lost that day. Collectively, I hope we can also find some inspiration to come together as a nation and consider a path to greater unity and shared purpose, which still seems so elusive.
Thank you for what you do each day to support our students and our community.
09/14/21 – SC Meeting – 6:30 pm
09/16/21 – Yom Kippur – No School
09/28/21 – SC Meeting – 6:30 pm
10/11/21 – Indigenous Peoples Day – No School
10/12/21 – SC Meeting – 6:30 pm
Congratulations to Brian Reddy (WHS Art Teacher) on his marriage to Lauren Pajer on September 5, 2021.
Correction to Devin Ligon announcement: Devin had a baby girl on June 25, 2021 – Apologies, Devin!
Condolences to Amy Kapinos (Bates Kindergarten Teacher) on the loss of her brother, Christopher Hurley (WHS Class of 1970), on August 24, 2021; and to MaryAnne McDonald (Athletic Department Secretary) on the loss of her husband, Ken ‘Kenny’ McDonald (WHS Class of 1964), on September 7, 2021.
Community Mental Health Webinar: Tuesday, September 28th, 7:00-8:30 pm.
The Wellesley Health Department invites the community to a free mental health webinar: Unmasked… Understanding Anxiety and Suicide in the COVID Era. Jon Mattleman, mental health consultant, will present practical ways to address specific mental health issues such as anxiety, and up-to-date information about suicide prevention. Email Joyce Saret at the Wellesley Health Department for joining information. firstname.lastname@example.org
Reminders Regarding Salary Lane Change Process:
Letters of Intent to Change Lanes are due annually by November 1st for the following school year. The letter should include your present lane, intended lane and year in which you plan to make the change. For instance, the intent to change lanes letter due on November 1, 2021 is for a lane change in school year 2022-23. Please note that your letter of intent does not carry over from year to year.
Also, effective November 1, 2020, a teacher must submit a Course Approval Form (CAF) if: 1) a course may lead to a lane change or 2) a course is paid by District funds. Forms should be submitted at least 30 days in advance of the expected start date of the course. Course approvals are active from the date of approval through June 30th of the following school year (e.g., approved 9/1/2021 for a course starting 10/1/2021 would be active through 6/30/2023). Approvals are based on the course title and course description and cannot be exchanged for another course without prior written approval of the Superintendent or designee. A teacher has until June 30th of the following school year from the course completion date to submit the transcripts (e.g., course ended 1/1/2022 transcript must be submitted by 6/30/2023).
Human Relations Services
The Human Relation Services (HRS) can help. Wellesley Public Schools has contracted with HRS to provide up to ten free counseling visits for you and/or your family members. This program is designed to help you deal with stresses of life and work –including personal and family issues, drug or alcohol problems, and job related tension. It offers prevention and intervention to reduce these stresses and improve coping skills.
HRS is located at 11 Chapel Place in Wellesley and can be reached at 781-235-4950. This is a confidential service. Wellesley Public Schools is not aware of the names of employees or their family members who utilize this service.
Do you have a question for the WPS Human Resources Department? Email AskHR@Wellesleyps.org. The Human Resources Department is happy to assist you.
WPS Internal Job Postings on District Website
For all Internal Job Postings, please go to “Internal Job Postings” under the Faculty tab of the District’s website.