NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

March 29, 2014

For schools secretary, home is where her heart is

(Continued)

“We never saw kids until three years ago,” Bartlett said. “You do all this work for kids but you never see them. So it is so awesome to be here. They have been really, really great. You see kids that come in and you can tell they had a tough time at the middle school and they find their niche. They find a whole connection and it is really something.”

When Michele Robinson arrived as the new superintendent in the summer of 2011, Bartlett was the first person she met.

“Carol is such a warm and welcoming person,” Robinson said. “From the moment I walked in the door, I felt that I had come home. Right away, she made me feel like a part of the school community and the Amesbury community and she has been a wonderful help and support.”

While she has seen the schools go through good and bad times, Bartlett has also been in a unique position to observe her hometown itself.

“You used to know everybody,” Bartlett said. “Somebody was always married to somebody. Now the names are very different.”

“People have moved away, there was a whole French community that was here,” she added. “Many friends’ families spoke French. I walked down the street and I knew everybody. I don’t think I would know people (now) if I didn’t work here. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, it’s just a whole different demographic. Everyone my age all moved to Florida.”

While Bartlett has no plans to move to Florida anytime soon, she is about to become a permanent part of the high school, along with former student Peter Randall and former educator Maria Ferrandini. The tree are going to be inducted into the Amesbury Educational Foundation’s Hall of Honor in May. She is also the president of the Foundation for the Amesbury Academy charter school.

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