By Cary Shuman
Calling it a “bittersweet” point in his professional career, John Macero, superintendent of Winthrop schools for the past years, will spend his last day in his position Friday.
“It’s very sad to leave – there’s no question about it because I’ve really enjoyed working in Winthrop and it’s hard to let it go because there are so many great things that are going on here ,” said Macero, who begins his new job as superintendent of Stoneham schools on July 3.
When Macero reflects on his many accomplishments as superintendent, he speaks proudly about the brand new, state-of-the-art $80 million, middle/high School building that opened for the 2016-17 academic year. Winthrop High School’s Class of 2017 became the first to graduate from the new school at the commencement ceremony in the school gymnasium.
“One of my biggest accomplishments was that I was able to work with the community and help them approve overwhelmingly the brand new middle school/high school for our students as well as the town approving the Miller Field track and fieldhouse project.
“To me, those are great accomplishments for the district and I was just happy to be a part of that because we had an outstanding school building committee to work with,” said Mcero.
Another accomplishment was reviving the instrumental music program in the district after former Winthrop high student Kelly Russo had approached Macero about expanding music offerings at the schools.
“We had a big crowd come to a School Committee meeting and we followed through – and now we have a middle school band and high school music program that is in full session and next year we’ll have a high school band,” he said.
The outgoing superintendent also pointed with pride to the Winthrop High drama club winning the state championship this year.
Macero said he was pleased to see Winthrop High students continuing to be accepted to the nation’s finest colleges.
“But the important part is that 95-96 percent of our students are moving on to four-year colleges. What’s even better is that a majority of them are graduating from college within a four-year time period which shows that the work we’re doing at all levels in Winthrop is what we are doing best: preparing our students to be successful in college.”
Macero said the availability of advanced placement classes for all Winthrop High students was a key factor in “our graduates knowing how to handle the academics in college.”
He praised the excellent work and dedication of the four school principals in the system: Matt Crombie (Winthrop High School grades 9-12), Brian Curley (Winthrop Middle School grades 6-8), Ryan Heraty (Cummings Elementary School grades 3-5), and Ilene Pearson (Gorman Fort Banks School grades pre-kindergarten-grade 2).
Macero appointed Crombie, Curley, and Heraty to their positions while Pearson is in her eighth year as the leader of the Gorman/Fort Banks School.
Macero thanked the School Committee members past and present for doing the best they could and making some difficult decisions that were in the best interests of the students.
“Winthrop has a strong school committee and it’s only going to help Lisa (Howard) move the school system forward,” said Macero.
Macero said he was grateful to the Winthrop community “for entrusting me with the Winthrop public schools for the past six years. It’s been a joy. It’s been a pleasure and my heart will be here. I look forward to Winthrop flourishing through the years.”
Macero said he and wife, Trudy Macero, owner of the highly acclaimed Winthrop School of Performing Arts, will continue to reside in the town. He thanked his wife for her support.
“When you work as the superintendent of schools in the town that you live in, you also have to have the total support of your wife and I’ve always had that. It’s not easy to the superintendent in Winthrop, so I want to thank Trudy for everything she’s done.”
A regular at Winthrop High Friday night football games and other athletic events, Macero will now be rooting for Stoneham teams.
“I was born a [Saugus] Sachem, was adopted as a [Winthrop] Viking, and now I’m going to be a [Stoneham] Spartan,” he said.
Lisa Howard will begin in her position as the interim superintendent of Winthrop schools on July 5.