As we wrap up what has become the most unusual school year of all time, I wanted to take a minute to recognize five very special members of our faculty who are retiring this year. I would have hoped to have done this in person with all of us together today, but this will have to do. Please join me in congratulating Vicki Aguilar, Jim Dillon, Jennifer Reyes, Karen Simi and Greg West on their retirements. These people have played a great role in making Masconomet a wonderful place to learn and work.
Vicki Aguilar retired in September of 2019 after serving in the Masconomet District for nineteen years. She was first hired in November of 2001 as a part-time school secretary and in 2004 became the Registrar of Masconomet High School. In this role, Vicki was responsible for maintaining student transcripts, assisting students with college applications, and helping students obtain working papers. She was also the first face many Masconomet students and families met as they enrolled in the school. Vicki is known for her up-beat personality, attention to detail and her ability to put students, parents and co-workers at ease.
Leslie Brooks is retiring after 15 years as a Paraprofessional in the District. She was originally hired as a Special Education Tutor in the Middle School in 2005 and then moved to the High School in 2006. Leslie also worked regularly in the Masconomet’s Student Services Summer Program. Leslie is known for her positive attitude, willingness to be flexible in the face of changing schedules, and her commitment to her students.
Jim Dillon came to Masconomet Middle School in September of 1998. Jim came to Masco with 9 years of classroom experience: two at Rockland Junior High School and seven at Alvirne High School in Hudson, New Hampshire. In his time as a teacher at Masco, Jim served on a number of staff committees, including the Professional Improvement Committee, the Middle School Advisory Council, and as a mentor to new members of the faculty.
Last year, when Masconomet Middle School Principal Dot Flaherty resigned, Jim applied for the position of Interim Principal. He did this, not because he particularly wanted the job, but because he so felt strongly about Masconomet Middle School, he wanted to ensure a smooth transition in leadership. In most cases, a person in an interim position is there merely to keep things running and not make any changes until their successor takes the reins. Apparently, no one told Jim this. In the past year, he has led the school through several major initiatives, been an active member of the District’s Executive Leadership Team and, most importantly, served as an overall champion of the Masconomet Middle School Program.
Jennifer Reyes was hired as a mathematics teacher at Masconomet Middle School in the summer of 1998. Jennifer came to teaching after working for ten years in high-tech sales and marketing. After working in the Middle School for two years, Jennifer moved to Masconomet High School in 2000. In her time at Masconomet, Jennifer was very involved in the life of the school. She was instrumental in developing the Masconomet Architecture Fair, a culminating exhibit of projects created by geometry students. She also served on the National Honor Society Faculty Committee, the Professional Improvement Committee, worked in the High School’s Engineering Day Curriculum, mentored new faculty members and taught the SAT Prep Course. Jennifer embodied what it means “to be a good teammate,” as she cared deeply about her colleagues as well as her students. She embraced what “Masco” is all about.
Karen Simi has been a member of the Masconomet community for the past twenty years. She began her career at Masconomet as a Secretary in the Technology Department in 2000. She was quickly promoted to the position of Administrative Assistant to the Technology Director in 2001. In 2005, Karen became the “House C” Secretary and then moved to the position of Administrative Assistant in the School Counseling Department in 2005. In all of these roles, Karen distinguished herself because of her dedication, work ethic, dependability, and willingness to tackle any job. Karen’s kind demeanor with faculty, parents, and students always made them feel welcome at Masconomet.
Greg West is retiring after 31 years in the Masconomet District. He was first hired as a Health Education Teacher at Masconomet in 1988. As a Health Teacher, Greg was the driving force behind the institution of the EMS Certification Program for students at Masco. He was known for his engaging teaching style, particularly his classroom discussions in his Intro to Medicine classes, and the hands-on skills training in his Honors EMT courses. Greg has also worked as an advisor on many student activities. Most notably, he has served as the Drama Club Advisor and Directed the fall and spring student productions. Greg also served as the Yearbook Advisor, and the Yearbook Photographer. Greg has also served on several District Committees, including the District Crisis Team, School Health Advisory Council, and the Substance Abuse Prevention Team. He embraced being a part of “Masco,” holding himself and others to a standard of excellence whether in the classroom, stage or working with staff and administration.