BILLERICA --Merrimack Special Education Collaborative (MSEC) will have a new identity come July 1, two years ago after the public agency became snarled in scandal.
At a recent board meeting, members voted to change the name to Valley Collaborative, which is symbolic of "fresh beginnings," according to Executive Director Chris Scott.
"For two years the board has discussed and debated the name change, receiving many suggestions from staff and board members," she said. "This change is a fresh start, a new day.
"It represents that this transition time is coming to a close," Scott added. "This is a very successful collaborative that is moving on from the past."
John Barranco, the former executive director of MSEC, was accused of misusing at least $37 million in taxpayer funds while leading MSEC and the Merrimack Education Center (MEC). Attorney General Martha Coakley's office has been investigating Barranco's activities for more than two years, but has yet to close the investigation or file charges.
While the term "MSEC" will be at the top of any potential court case, "MSEC" will not be seen across the collaborative's properties starting in July.
MSEC had a student logo contest at Nashoba Tech, which was won by Meagan DaSalvo. The shape of the trunk on the Valley Collaborative tree logo was designed to represent the Merrimack River, and the tree image as a whole is open to personal interpretation, Scott said.
Also on July 1, the Valley Collaborative will be condensed to three schools -- an elementary school on Coburn Road in Tyngsboro, a former elementary schoo on Parker Avenue in Dracut, and a high school at MSEC's current location on Linnell Circle in Billerica. There will also be adult programming in a different property on Linnell Circle.
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