Daily Archives: Thursday, November 21, 2013

BBA President Serves as “Principal for a Day”

BBA President Paul T. Dacier poses with Headmaster William Thomas (Charlestown High School).

BBA President Paul T. Dacier poses with Headmaster William Thomas (Charlestown High School).

Yesterday morning, BBA President Paul T. Dacier joined over 150 of Boston’s leaders in visiting Boston Public Schools (BPS) to gain a firsthand look at the successes and challenges of the city’s school system as part of the BPS Principal for a Day Program. Paul shadowed William Thomas, the headmaster of Charlestown High School, for the morning.

Here are a few facts about Charlestown High School so that you have a better idea of what he saw:

  • With 954 students, Charlestown is one of Boston’s largest high schools.
  • 39% of its student body is Limited English Proficient.
  • 46% of students qualify for free or reduced-priced school meals.

As you know, the BBA works closely with the BPS on a number of our public service programs, including the M. Ellen Financial Literacy Program, the BBA Summer Jobs ProgramLaw Day in the Schools, and the Boston Debate League. Principal for a Day allows the BBA President to gain a better understanding of the school system and how our programs fit in.

Here’s what Paul had to say about his experience:

“It was eye-opening to see how hard the students and teachers are working in the face of budget constraints and a large English Language Learner population at Charlestown High School. The students have a thirst for knowledge and a willingness to learn and the teachers and school administration are dedicated to changing the students’ lives with less than adequate resources.”

Take a look below for photos from the morning:

Paul T. Dacier observed the school’s Math Content Team meeting.

Paul T. Dacier observed the school’s Math Content Team meeting.

Paul T. Dacier met with Headmaster William Thomas (Charlestown High School) and John Hanlon (Boston Scholar Athletes)

Paul T. Dacier met with Headmaster William Thomas (Charlestown High School) and John Hanlon (Boston Scholar Athletes)

Keep an eye out for future articles about Paul’s experience.

The Boston Debate League – An Invitation to Feel Good About Doing Good


Guest Post: William Fitzpatrick is the Assistant General Counsel of Litigation at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority

If you are anything like me and you look forward to stepping away from a busy litigation practice on weekends to run a 5K for a charity or hit the gym then you know how these tune-ups can recalibrate your heart and mind. But what about your soul? Well, I’ve got an invitation for you.

Two years ago, the BBA joined in a partnership with an amazing program that has taken flight in the public schools of our capital city called the Boston Debate League. As lawyers we all know a thing or two about a healthy intellectual exchange and you will never feel more engaged than you will working with these remarkable students who are just thirsting to tap into your talent and bursting with enthusiasm. The students put in long hours over months methodically preparing to debate a topical issue which is played out under your direction in a series of competitive rounds in which you will share your own unique gifts of structure, guidance and inspiration.

When you share your time and wisdom you are “giving back” in theory but the reality is that your own personal “take away” is something that warms your soul for a long time forward. The students learn and enhance skills that you can see will raise their long term game by giant steps and you will be astonished at their work product, respect and cooperative immersion in this brilliant program.

The BDL staff including Shannon Watson and Sarah Amaral are fabulous and they will assist you in choosing to work one or more rounds as the competition moves toward the championship finals. You will surely feel great doing good on a level you seldom experience. A small investment of as little as three hours on a Friday evening or Saturday will undoubtedly produce a high yield return for participants on both sides of the students and lawyer equation.

Please consider contacting Sarah Amaral, BDL Volunteer Coordinator at [[email protected]] with any questions or our own Katie D’Angelo, BBA Public Service Programs Coordinator at [mailto:[email protected]] to seize your opportunity to help the students shine bright.

You may also sign up online to participate by visiting: www.bostondebate.org/signup