Tag Archives: teacher

Freedom Writer teacher speaks to students at Worcester Tech High School

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee

Worcester Technical High School two weeks before the MCAS, as they have done the past two years, brought in a motivational speaker to talk to the students. The event was held at the Hanover Theater in Worcester and the entire school was bused to the event.

This year’s speaker was Erin Gruwell, a former teacher, who has the distinction of having a movie made about her making a difference in the lives of her students. The movie is entitled, The Freedom Writers. A week before Ms. Gruwell’s presentation the students had the opportunity to watch the movie and discuss it with their teachers.

Erin Gruwell, a most dynamic speaker with an outgoing personality, had the students’ attention within a minute. She spoke about her first day at Wilson High School in Long Beach, California for as a recent college graduate she landed her first job in Room 203, only to discover many of her students had been written off by the education system and deemed “unteachable.” Her students lived in a racially divided urban community; they were already hardened by first-hand exposure to gang violence, juvenile detention, and drugs. Continue reading Freedom Writer teacher speaks to students at Worcester Tech High School

Putting Heart-Safe program in the “heart” of the Commonwealth

By John Monfredo, Worcester School Committee member

Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillation (AED) training may be the most valuable lessons a student can learn – how to save the life of a loved one, teacher or friend by performing the simple steps of CPR. This method can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

With this in mind, I proposed to the Worcester School Committee that the Worcester Public Schools start a course in CPR/AED training. With the support of Dr. Leonard Morse, Worcester Commissioner of Public Health, Mr. Derek Brindisi, acting director of public pealth in Worcester, and Colleen O’Brien, director of athletics, health and physical education, a plan was put forth in our schools for the first time. Continue reading Putting Heart-Safe program in the “heart” of the Commonwealth