Page 10 THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, June 28, 2019 A voice for more than 3,500 Saugus High student shows school custodians they are appreciated and loved by many in the community By Mark E. Vogler f Saugus School Committee members took the time to poll students about the role of custodians at Saugus High School, they might learn they made a huge mistake in deciding to privatize janitorial and maintenance services, according to Olivia Tamagna. “Everybody at Saugus High I School is disappointed about this,” said Olivia, 16, who will be a junior at the High School in the fall. “I don’t know one student who isn’t upset about this. It’s just so sad that what the School Committee has done isn’t in the best interests of the students,” she said. Olivia, the daughter of Saugus Board of Health Member Maria Tamagna, hasn’t reached the legal voting age of 18 yet. But she feels she is doing her civic duty by rallying public support for the 21 Saugus Public Schools custodians who received their termination notices last week from School Superintendent Dr. David DeRuosi, Jr. At Monday night’s Special Town Meeting, she got up and addressed the 50-member body on why she believes the custodians are an important part of the town’s educational community. She also mentioned the online petition drive she created called “Re-instate The DRUMMING UP SUPPORT: Left to right, Saugus High School student Olivia Tamagna, with her favorite custodian, Bill Moore, at Town Hall on Monday night after addressing a Special Town Meeting on the unheralded work of custodians in Saugus Public Schools. Olivia garnered public support for school custodians through an online website. (Saugus Advocate Photo by Mark E. Vogler) 54 OAKES STREET EVERETT, MA 02149 Phone (617) 389-2448 www.saseverett.com Preschool to Grade 8 (PreK program starts at 2.9) Christian Values & Strong Academics Before/After School Programs Extra-Curricular Activities Financial Assistance Available Come and see the difference we can make in the life of your child! Se habla Español - Falamos Português Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) Bring this ad and receive $50 off your registration. (New Families Only) Registration is on-going. J& • Reliable Mowing Service • Spring & Fall Cleanups • Mulch & Edging • Sod or Seed Lawns • Shrub Planting & Trimming • Water & Sewer Repairs Joe Pierotti, Jr. S LANDSCAPE & MASONRY CO. Masonry - Asphalt • Brick or Block Steps • Brick or Block Walls • Concrete or Brick Paver Patios & Walkways • Brick Re-Pointing • Asphalt Paving www.JandSlandscape-masonry.com • Senior Discount • Free Estimates • Licensed & Insured 617-389-1490 Designing and Constructing Ideas that are “Grounds for Success” Landscaping Saugus Public Schools Custodians” (https://www.change.org/p/ saugus-citizens-re-instate-thesaugus-public-schools-custodians). As of yesterday morning, it received more than 3,600 responses as it moved toward a goal of 5,000. “I wish the members of the committee would just listen to what the students and people throughout the community are saying: that they don’t want this at all,” Olivia said in an interview as she waited with some three dozen spectators for the School Committee to end a three-hour Executive Session which began at 7:15 a.m. “For people who are supposed to represent us in the community, they are doing a crap job. It’s just so disappointing. I was proud to be a Saugus Public Schools student. But now, I am questioning that because of this decision that is so wrong,” she said. “Getting rid of the custodians who are so valuable in our community? This isn’t what we stand for as a community and never has been. I’ve got a lot of good memories of custodians who I’ve known since the second grade – more than you can count,” she said. Bill Moore, a custodian with 25 years of service to Saugus Public Schools, said he was very proud of the student he’s known since her early days in elementary school. “She was really a joy to know, and we’ve had lunch together about 2,000 times,” Moore said in an interview Monday night following the Special Town Meeting. “I’m really proud of her and what she’s been trying to do,” he said. Though a young person, Moore noted, Olivia articulates the sentiments of a lot of people in the community. Olivia crafted a special “reinstatement” message on the website: “Currently there is a battle going on in Saugus Massachusetts on the privatization of the custodians working for the Saugus Public Schools. We the Student, parents, and Teachers of Saugus schools should have a say in who we believe should clean the buildings we spend 5 days a week in. “So many people have spoken up about this issue only to be ignored. Help us raise support for the Saugus School custodians by signing this petition. Let’s show we care about who enters and spends the day taking care of the Saugus public school buildings. These are people who care about students and the schools they work in and they shouldn’t be thrown aside.” ~ Letter to the Editor ~ Here’s how you can keep making a statement about the Saugus School Committee vote to replace custodians T he final school committee vote was this morning and again the 20 school custodians were voted out in favor of privatization. This young girl got up and spoke and it was so emotional. She started a petition on www.change.org and as of this morning had gotten 3,316 signatures. This effort should be continued in spite of this morning’s vote. There is a statement to be made. I hope you can publish her effort entitled RE-INSTATE THE SAUGUS PUBLIC SCHOOL’S CUSTODIANS. Thank you Gini Pariseau Saugus

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