Saugus High School

Stopping the brain drain in Saugus

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Pictured is Saugus Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David DeRuosi.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — A group of educators, coaches and youth group leaders are collaborating to strengthen Sachem pride and keep student-athletes in Saugus Public Schools.

Superintendent Dr. David DeRuosi hopes improving pride in attending Saugus High School while children are younger will help keep them within the school system. Instilling the same message in students across all activities, including sports, the arts and other educational programs will help children share values and learn skills that will help them succeed, he said.

“Our focus is how do we keep our children in Saugus so they’re not leaving to play sports elsewhere,” said school committee member Elizabeth Marchese. “We’re being proactive. What can we do right now to build a better program here in town for our athletes?”

The school system lost about 100 middle and high school students this year to vocational, charter and private schools, about the same as the year before. DeRuosi said the reason the students chose to leave the district is unclear, but athletics played a role for many.

“Anytime a student opts out, for whatever reason, it impacts the district,” he said. “There is an impact, financially, of those students leaving. The goal is to build a program that keeps kids with you.”

The school district pays a fee to each charter or vocational school a student leaves the district to attend, negatively affecting the school budget.

A new face at Summer Street Elementary

A group of about 30 people has met three times to identify gaps and brainstorm solutions that will result in a stronger athletic program with better student-athletes and ensure all students are putting academics before any extracurricular activities.

The group, which includes high school coaches and coaches at younger levels, has discussed holding sports clinics. A high school coach and players would spend a weekend teaching their sport, strategies and language to the children, fostering a relationship and offering potential role models.

Familiarizing Pop Warner players with high school coaches could increase excitement about one day playing for Saugus High School, Marchese said.

“We’re all working together to send the same message to do the right thing, that academics are important,” said Marchese. “Hearing that in the minor leagues when you’re six or seven — that message is embedded in you. It’s all about getting better at what you do.”

But the focus is not limited to athletics. DeRuosi hopes to collaborate with the fine arts and drama programs, as well as any other afterschool activities.

“Our goal is to keep kids engaged with solid adults sending a positive message,” DeRuosi said. “We have the capacity to change Saugus through multiple vehicles. I think our motto will be ‘one town, one team — building a better community.’”


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Francis J. McNulty, 85

LYNNFrancis Joseph McNulty, a long-time resident of Lynn, passed away on Friday evening, Jan. 13, 2017, in the Life Care Center of the North Shore in Lynn at the age of 85. Born in Saugus on Aug. 9, 1931, he was the son of the late Daniel B. and Mary A. (Hurley) McNulty. Frank was raised and educated in Saugus and was a graduate of Saugus High School. After school, Frank enlisted into the U.S. Navy. He entered into to active duty on Nov. 18, 1948, and served until Aug. 13, 1952. The very next day, Aug. 14, Frank joined the U.S. Army to help fight for our country during the Korean War. He served bravely until his honorable discharge on Aug. 6, 1954. Upon his discharge, Frank had attained the rank of Corporal and was awarded the Korean Service Medal, a Bronze Service Star, the United Nations Service Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Frank was a long-time laborer with the Teamsters Union and had worked for many years at General Builder’s Supply in Norwood before moving on to Nonantum Lumber Yard in Watertown from where he retired. Frank leaves his children: Kenneth F. McNulty of Kingston, N.H., Francis J. McNulty Jr. and his wife, DoriAnn of Lynn, Daniel J. McNulty and his wife, Dawn of Beverly, Maureen DeMello of N.C., Marjorie A. Macarelli and her husband, Edward of Groveland, Carol A. Brady and her husband, Shawn of Lynn, Deborah A. McNulty of Lynn, Nancy A. McNulty of Lynn, Dawn M. McNulty and her husband, Charles Self of Lynn, and JoAnne L. Castellarin and her husband, David of Middleton. Frank also is survived by his 19 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren as well as his brothers; Raymond McNulty of Florida and Ed McNulty of Chelmsford.

Service information: At the family’s request, services will be held privately. Frank’s family would like to extend a sincere thank you to all of the wonderful staff at Life Care Center of the North Shore for all of their exceptional care and compassion. Arrangements are under the direction of CUFFE-McGINN Funeral Home, 157 Maple St., Lynn. cuffemcginn.com.

Robert J. Grella, 85

HOOKSETT, N.H. — Robert Joseph Grella, 85, of Hooksett, N.H., formerly of Lynn and Saugus, died Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017 at Catholic Memorial Hospital in Manchester.

Born in Everett, he was the son of the late Anthony and Joan (Chrisafulli) Grella, and former husband of Margaret (Ramsdell) Grella and is survived by his longtime companion Gail Restalli of Hooksett, N.H. He attended Saugus schools and graduated from Saugus High School where he played hockey and participated with duties on the football team.

He was employed by General Electric prior to his enlistment in the United States Navy where he was stationed in San Diego, Calif., prior to deployment to Guam during the Korean War. He was known as “Popeye.” He also worked for the United States Postal Service prior to retirement and worked locally as a self-employed mason.

Coach Grella participated in the development of Lynn and Nahant Youth Hockey where he coached and mentored the city’s youth, teaching them how to skate at the hockey clinic, while coaching traveling teams and in-house teams. Robert also coached Central Little League and Babe Ruth in the city of Lynn, and played hockey in the General Electric City League.

Robert is survived by his three sons, Robert Grella and his late wife Sharon of Beverly, Kevin Grella of Lynn, Michael and his wife Cecilia of Saugus and former wife Josephine; three daughters, Kathie Porter and her husband Rusty, Debbie Grella and her companion Patrick O’Connor, Karen Watler and her husband Harold; his brother, Tom Grella of Amherst, N.H.; his sisters, Dolores Caggiano and Patricia Copeland, both of Saugus; 12 grandchildren, three great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Service information: Relatives and friends are invited to attend Bob’s memorial service on Tuesday, Jan. 17 at 12 p.m. in the NADWORNY Funeral Home, 798 Western Ave., Route 107, Lynn, MA 01905. Interment in Riverside Cemetery in Saugus. Visiting hours will be before the service from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. For directions and guest book nadwornyfuneralhome.com. A celebration of life will be held after the graveside service at the Knights of Columbus, Lynnfield Street, Lynn.

 

Robert M. Butler, 64

LYNN — Mr. Robert M. “Bob” Butler, age 64, of Lynn, died on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 at North Shore Medical Center, Salem Hospital, following a lengthy illness. He was the husband of the late Carol (Bedard) Butler, who predeceased him in 2005.

Born in Saugus in 1952, he was the son of the late Alfred and Eloise (Bumgarner) Butler. Bob was raised in Saugus, attended Saugus Public Schools and graduated from Saugus High School, Class of 1970. Following high school, Bob went on to Boston State College where he studied education. He moved to Lynn and has been a resident of the city since 1974.

He worked as an inspector at the General Electric River Works Plant in West Lynn for many years and was a shop steward for IUE-CWA Local 201. He also worked as an EMT and manager at Atlantic and the former Nordstroms Ambulance. He enjoyed collecting coins and was an avid Patriots and Red Sox fan.  

Bob was the loving father of Katie Thornell and her husband Todd of Beverly and the beloved grandfather of Tynan Thornell. In addition, he is survived by his father-in-law, Roland Bedard and his late wife Catherine of Lynn, his brother-in-law, Robert Bedard of Lynn, his sister-in-law, Maureen Gilleberto and her husband (Paul) of Peabody, his niece, Jenny Shirley and his nephew, Michael Gilleberto.

Service information: A funeral service will be held on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017 in the SOLIMINE Funeral Home, 426 Broadway (Route 129), Lynn at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, Peabody. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visitation will be held prior to the service beginning at 9 a.m. Donations in Bob’s memory may be made to American Diabetes Association, 260 Cochituate Road #200, Framingham, MA 01701 or at www.diabetes.org. Directions and online guestbook at www.solimine.com.

 

Quinlan reunites with hockey at Fenwick

FILE PHOTO
After a long hiatus, Jim Quinlan is back to coaching as he leads the Fenwick Crusaders. 

By STEVE KRAUSE 

Jim Quinlan took his lengthy coaching hiatus after the 2005 season because the words of his mentor, Chris Serino, echoed in his head.

“Christie taught me so much about coaching,” said Quinlan, who played for the late Serino while at Saugus High and later coached with him at Malden Catholic. “And Christie always said that family came first.”

Quinlan had just finished a brilliant run at Saugus High during which he led the Sachems to Division 2 state championships in 2003 and 2004, and lost to Boston Latin in double overtime in the ‘05 title game.

By then, he was ready. He’d already coached his son, Eric, who had completed a year of prep school and later played for UMass Dartmouth. His daughter, Erin, played Division 1 soccer in college, and his youngest daughter, Emma, was a college athlete too.

“I am fortunate that I was able to watch my kids play in college,” said Quinlan. “And I ended up traveling all over the country.”

But he never lost the itch for hockey. He worked with the Saugus Hockey Alumni Association, and helped implement a middle school team in the town. But by then, he’d moved to Boxford. And after talking things over with his wife, who encouraged him to return to coaching (“she said it was my passion, and that I should get back into it. And she’s right,” Quinlan says), he went for the job that opened up at Triton.

He didn’t get it, but it just whetted his appetite and when current Saugus coach Jeff Natalucci told him about an opening at Bishop Fenwick, Quinlan hustled to get his application in on time. After two interviews with athletic director Dave Woods, he got the job.

And he’s very happy to be back in the game.

“It’s going good,” said Quinlan, hours before the 3-4 Crusaders took to the ice at Connery Rink to play St. Mary’s. “I’m a whole different kind of coach than these kids have had. They’ve had three coaches in three years, and I feel bad for them in that situation.”

The Quinlan-Fenwick marriage has been a steep learning curve for both.

“It’s been a case of them learning my ways and me learning theirs,” he said. “It’s taken us a while.

“But I see it coming around,” Quinlan said. “We’ve been having good practices and I think they’re starting to buy into my ways. I could see it in their faces yesterday. They were focused. And that’s what I’m about. Focus and discipline.”

Of course, to know Quinlan is to know that he is one of the area’s elite coaches. He inherited the Saugus High program after the 1999 season from Lou Finocchiaro, who’d coached the Sachems to a state championship before he resigned (Finocchiaro is now coaching Austin Prep, a perennial Super 8 school). It didn’t take Quinlan long to bring Saugus back into hockey prominence. Saugus won back-to-back titles in 2003 and 2004 and came within a few unlucky bounces of a three-peat in 2005.

“I’ve been to five state finals,” said Quinlan. “Three with Saugus as a head coach, and two as an assistant. I’ve been there, and I know how to get there. It’s a tough road. Some guys coach all their lives and never get there. I’ve been fortunate.”

Right now, he just wants his players to learn from his knowledge of the game and his experiences as a coach.

“We’re 3-4 as we speak,” he said. “It’s not bad, considering I lost nine seniors off last year’s team. One of my senior captains, Jim Moore, has been out sick. He was injured first, then he got the flu. He’s had a tough senior year.

“But,” he said, “we’re getting healthy now. Finally, maybe next week, I’ll have my full squad back … the team I picked. We haven’t had much luck.”

Quinlan is optimistic that his players are getting it.

“These kids have shown a lot of character,” said Quinlan. “That’s the biggest thing with me. What I like is that the kids ask me questions. They want to learn, and they want to get better.

“That makes me feel good,” he said. “They’re listening to me. They’re buying into what I’m saying. That’s all I can ask for. Eventually, it’s going to click.”

Quinlan is one of three old-time coaches in their second lives at Fenwick. Doug Anderson, a veteran of three decades of coaching, has taken over the girls hockey program. And Kevin Moran, who brought a Division 4 boys basketball state championship to St. Mary’s’ in 2012, is in his first year coaching the sport for the Crusaders.

“I love it,” said Quinlan. “I see Kevin sometimes and we talk about what it’s like to come back after being away. And, of course, there’s nobody like Doug.”

He is grateful for Woods for giving him the opportunity to do what he truly loves.

“I’m truly humbled to get this job,” Quinlan said. “I can’t say enough about Dave, and that’s why all I want to do is give him, and the school, 100 percent.”


Steve Krause can be reached at skrause@itemlive.com. 

Delgado leads Classical to win

FILE PHOTO
Classical’s Irianis Delgado led all scorers with 16 points on Tuesday night. 

By HAROLD RIVERA

Prior to Tuesday night’s game against Saugus, Classical girls basketball coach Tom Sawyer said his team would have its hands full against a talented Sachems group. Perhaps the Rams play best when their hands are full.

Behind an offensive display that saw seven different Classical scorers, the Rams rolled to a 60-37 win over the Sachems at Saugus High.

“Most impressive was that they pressed us and we handled their press,” Sawyer said. “Against Saugus, it starts with being able to handle their pressure. We were terrific tonight. Jeylly Medrano, running the point, was unbelievable handling their press. It all starts there.”

Classical seized the momentum in the early goings of the game. Paris Wilkey missed her first few shots, but the junior drained a pair of three pointers in the first quarter. Irianis Delgado muscled her way to a pair of buckets in the paint, and the Rams led 18-6 at the end of the first.

The Sachems carried their struggles into the second quarter. Classical ran a stingy 2-3 zone defense that gave Saugus issues throughout the first half.

“Classical did a good job,” Saugus coach Mark Schruender said. “They did a good job, they sped us up. I think when they started speeding us up, everybody started to take it upon themselves to come back from a poor start.”

Saugus committed three turnovers in the first two minutes of the second quarter. Classical capitalized on those mistakes with a 6-0 run that ended when Alessia Salzillo nailed a jump shot to get the Sachems back on the board. Classical led 34-12 at the half.

“Coach (Helen) Ridley and I talk before every game,” Sawyer said. “We both agreed that in this particular game we should play zone because Saugus is extremely active on offense. We gave up 12 (points) in the first half, so we stuck with it.”

Down 22 points at the start of the second half, Saugus was in need of offense. The Sachems began to hit their shots in the third quarter as a pair of free throws by Krissy Italiano slimmed Classical’s lead to 18 points at 36-18. The Rams held their end of the bargain and made a handful of buckets to carry a 48-23 advantage into the fourth quarter.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the game was in Classical’s bag. The Rams (7-3) rolled to their seventh win of the season.

Classical had three scorers in double figures. Delgado led all scorers with 16 points.

“Irianis had a terrific game tonight,” Sawyer said of the junior forward. “She’s a little banged up, had an ankle injury and didn’t know if she was going to be able to play. She’s a tough kid though, she said she wanted to play. We needed her.”

Medrano contributed with 13 points while Wilkey scored ten.

“What this shows is that we played our best game of the year,” Sawyer said. “It was an unbelievable effort by everybody, up and down our lineup. We’ll celebrate it tonight, it’s hard to win in this league.”

Classical will aim to stay on the win column when the Rams visit Gloucester on Friday.

On the Saugus side, Molly Granara led the Sachems with ten points.

“She (Granara) just competes,” Schruender said. “She’s a freshman that doesn’t know she’s a freshman. She works really hard in practice and yesterday I got on her in practice about defense. She responded really well.”

Salzillo had a strong performance of her own, with eight points.

The Sachems (6-2) will look to shake off the loss by correcting their mistakes. Saugus has a quick turnaround as the Sachems host Somerville tonight.

“Tomorrow’s a new day,” Schruender said. “We’re a game to game team. These kids are tough.”


Harold Rivera can be reached at hrivera@itemlive.com. 

Students wrapping up charity in Saugus

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Saugus High School students Gaby Marquez, Alilyn Minayn and Krissy Italiano wrap presents at the Square One Mall in Saugus.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — With mere hours until the end of their class fundraiser, Saugus High School seniors are only a few hundred dollars away from reaching their goal.

Gift wrapping has been a Saugus tradition for more than 20 years. Richard Lavoie, one of two senior class advisors, said he remembers wrapping at the mall when he graduated in 1995. Back then, the students occupied the information booth and worked alongside mall employees. In recent years, classes have raised as much as $15,000 and operate on six tables.

The teenagers have been taking turns wrapping gifts at the Square One Mall in four-hour shifts since the season-long fundraiser kicked off on Black Friday. It concludes tonight at 6 p.m.

In November, student Emily Kay said the class set a lofty goal to raise $10,000 to cover costs of special programs, such as prom and Color Day competitions. Money will also be set aside for Senior Week, when the graduating class will likely visit an amusement park, attend a Red Sox game and throw an after-prom party.

Lavoie said the group reached the $9,000 level on Thursday.

Wellness is paying off in Saugus

“The other class advisor, Kate Payne, and I have been working with this group of kids for four years,” Lavoie said. “Seeing the kids grow up and learn that sense of responsibility — in addition to everything else we have going on — they’re essentially running a business for a month. Seeing them work out the thought process in their heads is really kind of cool.”

The gift-wrapping kiosk is located on the lower level outside Toys ‘R’ Us and Macy’s. Prices range from $3 for a small- or average-size clothing box to $10 for an extra-large gift. The students learned how to juggle the costs of supplies, renting the kiosk and other expenses.

Students in other grades could opt to volunteer at the wrapping booth to fulfill community service hours. Seniors who volunteered were rewarded with reduced prices on prom tickets, Lavoie said.

“One of the things that amazed me, beyond just the kids, is the amount of folks who aren’t affiliated or part of the high school anymore but still volunteered,” he said. “We have a mom whose youngest daughter graduated in 2013 but she still volunteers. As rewarding as any of the money that comes in, I think the kids were overwhelmed by the generosity.”

Some customers would have two to three packages wrapped and leave an additional donation with the students, he said.

“In the last few weeks, it has really picked up,” Lavoie said. “It’s hard work and it’s tiring but it’s worth it.”


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Robert L. Plassmann, 61

LYNN — Robert Leon Plassmann, age 61, of Lynn, passed away with his family by his side, on Dec. 18, 2016, at Tufts Medical Center Neurological ICU in Boston. Born in Boston, he was the son of the late Ernest and Barbara (Bowen) Plassmann. He grew up in Winthrop and Saugus. Following his graduation from Saugus High School, he trained as an electronic technician and worked at Western Electric in North Andover. After relocating to Alexandria, Va., for more than 10 years, he returned to the North Shore. Bob’s hobbies were canoeing, tennis and camping. He is survived by two brothers, Joseph Plassmann and his wife Cathie (Stamos) of Peabody and Charles Plassmann of Peabody; his six nephews, Forrest Plassmann and his wife Roopa (Shah) of Arlington, Shawn Plassmann and his wife Karla (Sullivan) of Bradford, Joey, Cory, Matthew and Michael Plassmann of Peabody, his nieces, Lali and Julia and his nephew David, and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins in the greater Connecticut area. He was predeceased by his sister Julia and his brother Edward.

Service information: Services will be held privately. Memorial donations may be made in his name to the Northeast Animal Shelter, 347 Highland Ave., Salem, MA 01970. GOODRICH Funeral Home of Lynn.

 

Saugus High seniors put a bow on service

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Saugus High School student Emily Kay works at the gift wrapping counter at the Square One Mall. All money collected at the gift wrapping counter will go to the senior class.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS —  Shoppers can have their gifts wrapped while supporting a good cause at the Square One Mall.

Black Friday kicked off a season-long fundraiser for the Saugus High School senior class. From now through Christmas Eve, students will wrap gifts to raise money for their class.

Funds raised will cover costs of programs such as prom and Color Day competitions, when the senior class faces off against the other classes in different events, said Saugus student Emily Grant.

Customers can visit the kiosk located on the lower level outside Toys ‘R’ Us and Macy’s. Prices range from $3 for a small or average-sized clothing box to $10 for an extra large gift.

“We’re hoping to raise $10,000,” said senior Emily Kay. “My brother’s class, in 2014, brought in $15,000.”

The teenagers will take turns covering four-hour shifts during mall hours. Two students will be in the booth until the busy season picks up and then the staff will double. An adult will be with the students at all times.

“Some people who aren’t good at wrapping can talk to the customers and handle the money,” said Kay.

The students had two customers in the first 15 minutes of opening on Friday morning.

Marina Iannaco, area director of marketing and business development for Square One, said the mall was as busy as in previous years.

The fundraiser has been held annually for about 10 years, Iannaco said. The mall leases the kiosk to the school for a discounted price, which she declined to disclose.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

A thousand thanks in Saugus

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Michael Fiscale arranges the food bags before they are filled with Thanksgiving dinner meals at the United Parish Food Pantry in Saugus.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — More than a thousand families will sit down for Thanksgiving dinner next Thursday thanks to the generosity of their neighbors.

Volunteers compiled 120 meal kits in the basement of the Cliftondale Congregational Church in Saugus Friday afternoon. The space serves as the home of the weekly Saugus United Parish Food Pantry, but volunteers come from each of the town’s churches.

The pantry has been open for 30 years and is affiliated with the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB). Wendy Reed, clerk for the Board of Selectmen, stepped up to help when the former director resigned. While the pantry is still seeking a new, permanent administrator to help serve more than 250 people who depend on its services, the volunteers have each taken on added responsibilities to get the job done.

ALSO: What’s the best kind of pie for Thanksgiving?

Two dozen people distribute food on Fridays while others pick up donations from Stop & Shop, Panera Bread and Walmart throughout the week, Reed said. In total, the pantry has up to 40 volunteers to count on.

Families took home turkey, apple cider, vegetables, stuffing and gravy on Saturday morning, said volunteer Charlie Pastorello.

Ernie’s Harvest Time in Lynn provided fresh produce. Items were collected at each of the town’s schools, churches and many medical offices and banks. Unsold bread was donated by Panera at the end of the day and Stop & Shop lended the pantry freezers for storage. Students from Saugus High School prepared boxes and bags to be filled and checked expiration dates, said Reed.

Lynn resident Michael Quintana organized his own turkey distribution on Friday. He purchased 100 turkeys and collected donations for 30 more from Dan’s Auto Body in Peabody, Sammy Guwor and Joshua Castillo, both of Lynn.

Quintana rented a moving truck on Friday and gave more than 60 of the 12- to 14-pound frozen birds to families of Lynn Classical High School students and more than 40 to Lynn English High School students. The remaining turkeys were given to individuals who reached out seeking Quintana’s help.

“I always said that if I was in a position to give back, I would,” Quintana said. “If it’s all gone tomorrow, I’ll feel good knowing what I did with it. Kids need to know that there is assistance out there and not to be ashamed to ask for help. I’ve gone through it, everyone has hard times. I’m very fortunate to be where I am now. But never forget where you came from.”

Shanna Duprey, guidance counselor and homeless coordinator for the school, provided recipes for cooking a turkey to each of the families.

“This is amazing — he is amazing,” Duprey said. “It brings out the spirit of the holiday.”

Catholic Charities, one of the largest providers of social services in the state, and United Way, a nonprofit coalition of charitable organizations, collaborated to provide 6,500 packages of Thanksgiving groceries to families in the Greater Boston area. More than 500 volunteers spent the past week packing and organizing 200,000 pounds of food. Saturday morning, 900 of the meal packages were distributed to families in Lynn.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

A leader of a reader at Saugus High School

COURTESY PHOTO
Rachel May gets ready for her Stroll for Strays fundraiser, which she organized in June.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS Rachel May is an academic, a philanthropist, a leader, and the first high school student to receive the Saugus Public Library Foundation’s annual Readers Make Good Leaders award.

This year’s other honorees are Bob Davis, president of World Series Park; Donna Gould, creator of Saugus Founders Day and the Saugus Friendship Club; Janette Fasano, former chairwoman of the Board of Selectmen; and Bob Long, former town moderator.

“I thought it was a really cool thing,” said May. “Once I got there I realized it was crazy that they considered me on the same level as the people I was being honored with, the founder of Founders Day and the first female Board of Selectmen chairperson. It’s an honor to be in the same caliber as them.”

The Saugus High School senior was nominated by Principal Michael Hashem.

“When the Library Foundation got in touch with me, there was one name that popped into my head right away,” said Hashem. “Rachel is a great kid and a great leader.

“She’s the top student in the senior class, she has provided community services to a lot of organizations. She’s a well-rounded student. She’s in athletics, she does improv. She’s just an outstanding kid.”

May raised $2,000 for the Northeast Animal Shelter by organizing the Stroll for Strays, a fundraising walk held at Breakheart Reservation in June. More than 40 people attended the event.

The shelter is located in Salem and is one of New England’s largest no-kill shelters for cats and dogs. May began walking dogs and cleaning kennels at the shelter to fulfill a service project requirement for the National Honor Society.

“I saw how much the shelter was doing and they needed help raising money for things,” she said. “They transfer animals from kill shelters down south. It’s very costly. I wanted to help raise money for that.”

With the help of her fellow honor society members, May is planning for a second walk in the spring. She also hopes to resume volunteer work at the shelter this winter.

May plans to study biology or neuroscience in college.

The Gala and Silent Auction was attended by more than 100 guests. The Garden Club created flower arrangements that were displayed throughout the library.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte

John J. Naples, 76

SAUGUS Mr. John J. Naples, age 76, died on Saturday morning at the Edith Nourse Memorial Veteran’s Hospital in Bedford. He was the husband of Rosemarie (Gallo) Naples.

Born in Lynn, he was the son of the late James and Mary (Picano) Naples, raised and a lifelong resident of Saugus, John was a 1959 graduate of Saugus High School playing both football and basketball. He was ultimately inducted into the Saugus High School Sports Hall of Fame. John played semi-pro football for Kenny’s Comets and the Knights. He attended the University of Wyoming then entered the United States Army. Working for many years as a Union Carpenter for Local #218,  John was a member of the Lynn Chamber of Commerce and the Fox Hill Yacht Club. He loved hunting in Vermont and fishing. His most precious time was that spend with his granddaughter Tallulah.

Besides his wife he is survived by two daughters; Cynthia Lovegrove and her husband Vincent of Marion, Dr. Lisa Naples of Los Angeles, Calif., granddaughter; Tallulah. He was the brother of Virginia Fichera of Pelham, N.H., and the late Rose Mellace and Anna Celentano. He will be missed by the several young children who called him Uncle and Grampy.

In lieu of flowers donations in her memory may be made to the David James Hospice Unit, 200 Springs Rd., Bedford, MA 01730.

Service information: An hour of visitation will be held in the BISBEE-PORCELLA Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., SAUGUS, on Thursday 10–11 a.m. followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. in the funeral home. For directions and condolences BisbeePorcella.com.

Dennis W. Stamulis, 74

THE VILLAGES, Fla. Dennis W. Stamulis, age 74, of the Villages in Florida, died Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. He was the husband of Carol (Morin) Stamulis, and the son of Fotine (Solomos) Stamulis of Lynnfield, and the late Thomas T. Stamulis. Born on Jan. 1, 1942 in Lynn, he was raised and educated in West Lynn. His family moved to Saugus, where he graduated from Saugus High School. Dennis was a former member of St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Lynn. He earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Lowell Tech and a master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of New Hampshire. He was a retired computer engineer for Cabletron Systems in Rochester, N.H.

In his earlier days, Dennis drove trucks for his father’s trucking firm. He was a member of the Bethlehem Masonic Lodge in Lynn. Dennis loved his music and in his teens had a large record collection. He also played the trombone and guitar. He loved to tinker; first on his 1962 Corvette and then on his various Harleys. Dennis loved animals, having owned an Arabian thoroughbred horse and his trusty german shepard. He enjoyed flying and obtained his solo pilot license. He was also a lifelong gun enthusiast.

Even after retirement, Dennis stayed very active with his own computer consulting business, passing the Royalton, Vt. Police exam as well as becoming their elected constable, and finishing as a court officer in Dover, N.H. During his lifetime he traveled extensively to the Caribbean, Europe and Africa.

Dennis moved to the Villages in Florida from Stratham, N.H. in 2013. He enjoyed trap and skeet shooting, target shooting and playing golf. He was a member of St. Mark’s Greek Orthodox Church in Belleview, Fla.

Besides his wife Carol and his mother Fotine; he is survived by his two sons, Thomas D. Stamulis of Reston, Va. and George D Stamulis of Rye, N.H.; his daughter Denise M. Stamulis of Bradford, Mass.; his four granddaughters Taylor, Jordan, Amalia and Melina, and his former wives Eva (Constant) Soucy and Diane Hayes. He was predeceased by his brother John Peter Stamulis.

Service information: A memorial visitation will be held in the SOLIMINE Funeral Home, 426 Broadway, (Rt. 129), Lynn on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Interment will be in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn, immediately following. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Mark’s Greek Orthodox Church, 9926 SE 36th Ave., Belleview, FL 33420. Directions and guest book at Solimine.com.

Eric R. Jarosz, 49

SAUGUSEric R. Jarosz, of Saugus, Oct. 3, age 49, was taken into the arms of the Lord after a long illness.

Born and raised in Saugus, Eric graduated from Saugus High School in 1985, Northeastern University and Massachusetts School of Law in 1994. He practiced criminal law out of the Lynn District Court.

He leaves his mother, Janice (Penney) Jarosz; sons Ronald, Daniel and David; brothers Jay of Manchester, Thomas of Saugus; and sister Lisa Parker of Saugus; nieces Haley, Amber and Jessica, nephews Justin, Jay T., Andrew and Tommy. He was also the son of the late Ronald Jarosz. He also leaves his uncles Ralph, Lance and Keith Penney, aunts Justine (Penney) Dolan and Joanne Penney. Also survived by his former wife Barbara (Keene) Jarosz.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of your choice.

Service information: Visiting hours will be held in the BISBEE-PORCELLA Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, on Thursday from 2–4 p.m. and 6–8 p.m. Funeral from the funeral home on Friday at 9:30 am followed by a funeral Mass in Blessed Sacrament Church at 10:30 a.m.  Interment Riverside Cemetery. For directions and condolences BisbeePorcella.com.

Joseph W. Tarasuik, 46

LYNN Joseph “Joey” William Tarasuik, 46, of Lynn, passed away Monday, Oct. 3, 2016, following a lengthy illness. He was the husband of Amber (Stalnaker) Tarasuik. Born in Lynn, he was the son of Joseph and Lynne (Barber) Tarasuik of Lynn. Joey graduated Saugus High School, Class of 1988. He also attended Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla. He was a locksmith, which he enjoyed very much. He bred hamsters and loved them. In addition to his wife and parents, he is survived by his children, KateLynne Rose and Jonathan Wayne Tarasuik of Fremont, N.H., his brothers, Shawn Michael Tarasuik of Andover, Todd Jay Tarasuik of Parish, N.Y., and Ryan Scott Tarasuik of Lynn, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.

Service information: Visitation will be held in the GOODRICH Funeral Home, 128 Washington St., Lynn, on Wednesday from 3-7 p.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. A celebration of life will follow at the Lynn Volunteer Yacht Club.

Diane Marie Johnson

CASPER, Wyo.Diane Marie (Smith) Johnson passed away recently in Casper, Wyo. She grew up in Saugus and graduated from Saugus High School in 1977. While at SHS, she participated in sports (field hockey co-captain, track and field) and was a member of National Honor Society. As a child, Diane would spend time at her grandparents’ house on Cape Cod and also with friends in New Hampshire. This developed into a lifelong love for the outdoors.

Diane attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and graduated with a BS in Nutritional Sciences. Shortly after college, Diane moved to South Dakota, where she worked briefly with Indian Health Services on the Sioux Reservation in Rosebud, S.D., and in Utah. Diane then moved to Casper, Wyo., and started work for the State WIC Program. Diane was involved with counseling young mothers, and assisted in the implementation of programs to provide better service to WIC members while reducing costs and misuse. Most recently, Diane was Regional Nutritional Supervisor for the Wyoming WIC program.

While living in Casper, Diane met Albert Johnson (formerly of Dorchester) and were married on March 21, 1997. They had two children, Jonathan, a sophomore at Natrona County High School (Casper, Wyo.), and Maya, a freshman at the University of Wyoming.

Diane enjoyed life and helping others. Her family was important to her and she liked spending time with her children. She enjoyed the outdoors, camping with the family and going for walks with her husband Al.

Diane is survived by her husband, Al, and her children. She also leaves three brothers and one sister: Joseph Jr., of Sandown, N.H., Paul, of Arlington, Barbara McClintock, of Gilford, N.H., and Robert, of Melrose.

Service information: A memorial service is scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 17, at 10 a.m., at Blessed Sacrament Church in Saugus. Condolences may be shared at Bustardsfuneralhome.com.

Wendy M. Hayes, 57

LYNN — Wendy M. (Meninno) Hayes, age 57, of Lynn, died on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016, at her home, after a lengthy illness. She was the wife of Roland J. “Rolly” Hayes, her husband and best friend of 12 years.

Born in Saugus, she was the daughter of A. Nicholas Meninno of Lynnfield and the late Margaret B. “Peggy” (Grant) Meninno. Wendy was raised and educated in Saugus and graduated from Saugus High School in 1977. She attained an associate degree in hotel management from Endicott College. Together with her husband they owned and operated Rolly’s Tavern on The Square in Lynn.

She started her career at the Bostonian Hotel in Boston, worked in the Caribbean Islands for a number of years managing properties, was manager at Ritz-Carleton Hotel in Naples, Fla., and then worked with Ruby Wines in Boston. Wherever she worked and especially since she and Rolly have operated “Rolly’s Tavern on the Square,” she was much loved and respected for her talents and her beautiful personality.

Besides her husband and father, she is survived by two sons, Ryan Hayes and his wife, Victoria, of Lynn and Tom Hayes and his wife, Sarah, of Aldie, Va., four granddaughters, Ava, Alissa, Madelyne and Charlotte Hayes, three sisters, Dr. Cheryl L. Meninno, Debby Regan and her husband, Tim, Jill Guerriero and her husband, Joe, all of Lynnfield, two brothers, Nicholas Meninno and his wife, Christine, of Swampscott, A. Scott Meninno and his wife, Sandra, of Boxford. Wendy was aunt to Christopher Regan, T.J Regan and his wife, Stephanie, Erica, Amanda and Nicholas Meninno, Jenna Papagni and her husband, Mike, Sara Guerriero, and Anthony and Cindy Meninno. She was niece to Michael S. Grant and his wife, Cheryl, of Haverhill, Charlene M. Kiley and her husband, Danny, of North Reading, Gloria Santangelo and her husband, Fred, of Lynnfield and the late Theresa Ballerini and Lillian Trapasso. She is also survived by many cousins.

Service information: Her funeral will be on Friday, at 10 a.m., from the SOLIMINE FUNERAL HOME, 426 Broadway (Route 129) Lynn, followed by a memorial Mass in St Pius V Church, Lynn, at 11 a.m. Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery, Lynn. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Memorial visiting hours on Thursday from 4-8 p.m. Donations are preferred to Girl’s Inc. of Lynn, 50 High St., Lynn, MA 0l902. Directions and guest book at Solimine.com.

Jean F. MacDougall, 90

Mrs. Jean F. (Robinson) MacDougall passed away at Rosewood Nursing Home in Peabody on Aug. 20, 2016.  

Jean was born on July 9, 1926 in Saugus, grew up in Cliftondale and graduated from Saugus High School in the Class of 1944. Jean married her Saugus ‘high school sweetheart’, Jim MacDougall, in 1947, after he returned from his tour of duty in Europe during WWII. They built their home in Topsfield and raised three children until his untimely passing in 1961 at the age of 35. Jean returned to her hometown of Saugus in 1961 and, as a self-trained bookkeeper, worked for Quinn Brothers of Peabody, Lappin Industries of Salem and Rent-a-Tool in Revere until her retirement at age 75.

As a single parent, Jean took pride in supporting herself and her family. Jean brought an irrepressible will to overcome adversity with an infectious joy for living. Jean and her lifelong friends Thel MacDougall, Vivien McClintock, the late Phyllis Rossi and the late Irene Sund were central to many years of Friday night revelries at Sunnyside Park. There she was ultimately joined by Howie Long and they both prospered in a special ‘second time around’ relationship.

In her later years, Jean settled at Heritage Heights in Saugus and became active in social and senior center events. An avid reader, game player and traveler; any gathering, party, trip or social event was enhanced by her upbeat spirit, laughter and insight. Even after losing her vision, Jean worked hard to maintain her independent and socially active lifestyle but after several years ultimately placed herself in Rosewood in Peabody where she spent her final days with the support of her loving family.

She is lovingly remembered by her three children, Jay MacDougall and his wife Johnsie of Topsfield, Jim MacDougall and his wife Christina of Topsfield and Jayne Swirka and her husband Stephen of Danvers; four grandsons, Joshua MacDougall and his wife Lorena of Scotch Plains, N.J., the late Benjamin MacDougall, Ian Swirka of San Diego and Cameron Swirka of Boston, and Jean’s great granddaughter, Grace MacDougall of Scotch Plains, N.J.

The family wishes to recognize and thank the staff at Heritage Heights in Saugus and Rosewood Nursing Home for their kindness and professionalism in keeping Jean comfortable, safe and happy.

Service information: There will be a private graveside ceremony for family at a later date. In lieu of flowers and at the families’ request, donations may be made to the Friends of the Saugus Town Library in Jean’s memory. For condolences BisbeePorcella.com. Arrangements by BISBEE-PORCELLA Funeral Home, Saugus.

Miriam Diamond, 82

SAUGUSMrs. Miriam (Urquhart) Diamond, age 82, died on Sunday, Aug. 14, at Port Healthcare in Newburyport. She was the wife of the late William L. Diamond.

Born, raised and a lifelong resident of Saugus, she was the daughter of the late Arthur and Miriam (Metcalf). Miriam was a 1951 graduate of Saugus High School. She worked at the former Jordan Marsh in Malden until the store closed, then worked at Macy’s in Somerville for over 20 years. She loved to garden and above all, she enjoyed spending time with her family.

Mrs. Diamond leaves four sons, Paul Diamond and his wife, Cindy, of N. Billerica, Bill Diamond and his wife, Denise, of Lynn, Richard Diamond and his wife, Joanne, of W. Newbury, Donald Diamond of Limerick, Maine, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, one brother, Fred Urquhart of Maine, one sister, Doris Nelson of Lynnfield. Also survived by her son-in-law, Steven Johnson of Saugus. She was predeceased by her daughter, Deborah Johnson.

Service information: Relatives and friends are invited to attend visitation in the Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, on Thursday, 11 a.m. to Noon, followed by a funeral service in the funeral home at Noon. Interment at Puritan Lawn Memorial Park in Peabody. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Alzheimer’s Assoc. of MA, 480 Pleasant St., Watertown, MA 02472. For directions and condolences BisbeePorcella.com.

Rena A. Russo, 85

SAUGUS Mrs. Rena A. (Hollett) Russo, age 85, died Thursday, Aug. 4 at the North Shore Medical Center, Salem. She was the loving wife of Alfonso Russo, with whom she recently celebrated 60 years of marriage.

Born in Everett and raised in Saugus, she was the daughter of the late Jabez and Mary (MacDonald) Hollett. Mrs. Russo was a member of the Saugus High School Class of 1948. Rena and her husband enjoyed spending winters at their home in Hallandale, Fla.

In addition to her husband, Mrs. Russo leaves one son, Joseph Russo and his wife Mary; and one daughter, Cheryl Russo-Masiello, all of Lynn. She was the sister of James Hollett of Virginia and the late Eleanore Ferguson. She was the cherished grandmother of Andrew Russo and his wife Patricia Ridge, Sarah Russo and Christopher and Matthew Masiello, all of Lynn. She also leaves many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to a charity of your choice.

Service information: Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours in the BISBEE-PORCELLA Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus on Sunday 2-6 p.m. A funeral service will be held in the funeral home on Monday at 11 a.m. Interment Puritan Lawn Memorial Park in Peabody. For directions and condolences BisbeePorcella.com.

Laurence S. Dyer, 72

LYNN — Laurence S. Dyer, age 72 years, of Lynn, died Thursday at Life Care of the North Shore after a lengthy illness.

Born in Lynn, he was the son of the late Russell Dyer and Virginia (Seaman) (Dyer) Hooper. Laurie attended Saugus schools and graduated from Saugus High School, Class of 1963. He served in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Stickell during the Vietnam War. He was employed as a truck driver and worked for Sunoco, B. F. I., and Waste Management until he retired in 1992. He was a member of the Saugus VFW, the Franco American Post, and a lifetime member of Connery American Legion Post 6. Laurie enjoyed politics, television and spending time with his family.

He is survived by one brother, Richard W. Dyer and his wife, Susan Hurley-Dyer, of Lynn, two nieces, Alicia Dedrick of Florida, Shannon Hurley of Lynn, one nephew, Richard T. Dyer of Amesbury, one great-niece, six great-nephews, his girlfriend, Claire McLaughlin of Saugus, and close friend Pamela Arsenault of Saugus.

Service information: Visiting hours will be held at the Parker Funeral Home, 35 Franklin St., Lynn, on Wednesday from 11 a.m., to 1 p.m., followed by funeral services at 1 p.m., to which relatives and friends are invited to attend. Burial will follow in Pine Grove Cemetery. Guest book at Parkermemorialfuneralhome.com.

Michael Vient, 62

GLOUCESTER — In the afternoon of July 18, 2016, Michael passed away at Beverly Hospital after complications on a long bike ride around the North Shore, pursuing one of his passions of cycling. Michael was 62 years old.

Michael was born in Saugus on Jan. 31, 1954. He was the third child of Jean Kudera and Louis Vient Jr.

Michael spent his life as a favored son of Massachusetts, living in Saugus, Beverly and finally Gloucester. He graduated from Saugus High School in 1972. As a lifelong Red Sox fan, Michael kept the games on in the background of most every night. Michael was always listening to music, loving Bob Dylan, Neil Young, the Stones, and most recently, Town Meeting.

Michael loved to travel, whether it was camping along the Kancamagus, cruising to Bermuda, driving through the American West or exploring Australia. Michael enjoyed a passion for cycling, spending his days riding many miles through Northeastern Massachusetts. He loved kayaking in Essex with his wife, Robin, and hiking the tallest mountains of New England with his brothers and sons.

Michael worked over 30 years for Gorton’s Seafood as a warehouse manager. He loved history, and tracked the ancestry of his family tree all the way back to the 17th century. He was a collector of model trains, with a working railroad track along the ceiling of his basement. Michael always had a loyal dog by his side, Derek, Belle, Toby, Cooper and Jax.

Michael will best be remembered by his commitment, responsibility, pride and love for his children, Keith and Nicholas, as well as the rest of the youth of the community. He followed his sons every step of the way, as a Cub and Boy Scout Leader, a Little League baseball coach, and a loyal, passionate, steadfast, generous source of love and inspiration.

Michael was preceded in death by his sister, Denise Vient, his mother, Jean Vient, his stepmother, Ann Healey, and his father, Louis Vient Jr.

Michael is survived by his wife, Robin, his sons, Keith and Nicholas and wife, Lauren Vient, his siblings, Cathy and Dean Adrien, David and Charlene Vient, Dana and Melissa Vient, Peter and Nicole Vient, his step-siblings David Healey, John Healey, Susan and Jack Milton, Mary Ann and the late Pat Cushman his step-children, Chris and Carleen Melanson, Courtney Melanson and Carrie Melanson, his step-grandchildren, Aidan, Vera and Dana.

Service information: A memorial service will be held in his honor on Friday, July 22, at 9:30 a.m., at St. Ann’s Church, Holy Family Parish, on Prospect Street in Gloucester. Family and friends are cordially invited. There are no visiting hours and burial will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made in his honor to a charity of your choosing. Arrangements are by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington St., Gloucester, MA. Online condolences may be given at Greelyfuneralhome.com.

Donna M. McCabe, 58

SAUGUS — Ms. Donna M. McCabe, age 58, died on Tuesday, July 19, at her home in Saugus surrounded by her family.

Born and raised in Saugus, she was the daughter of the late George and Esther (Howard) McCabe. She was a graduate of Saugus High School, Class of 1975 and received her bachelor’s degree in nursing at Northeastern University. Donna worked as a Registered Nurse in Union and Salem Hospitals.

Donna leaves one daughter, Erin McCabe of Saugus, one sister, Sharon McCabe of Saugus, four brothers, George McCabe and his wife, Sharon, of Pelham, N.H., Michael McCabe and his wife, Teresa, of Stoneham, Kevin McCabe and his wife, Mary, of Saugus, Keith McCabe and his wife, Nollaig, of Saugus. Also survived by nieces and nephews, Michael and his wife, Danielle, Jason and companion, Alana, Melissa and her husband Nick, Colleen, Kian and Finn.

Service information: Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours in the Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, on Thursday, 4-8 p.m. Funeral from the funeral home on Friday at 9:30 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass in St. Margaret’s Church, 431 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, at 10:30 a.m. Interment Riverside Cemetery, Saugus. Donations in her memory may be made to Feline Hospital, 81 Webb St., Salem, MA 01970. For directions and condolences BisbeePorcella.com.

Saugus loves its Valentine

The Saugus Wings met former Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, middle, at the Cal Ripken Experience week-long tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

BY STEVE KRAUSE

Since he was fired as manager of the Boston Red Sox four years ago, Bobby Valentine has been busy.

He’s athletic director at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn. He’s also the owner of the Bobby Valentine’s Sports Academy (BVSA) in Connecticut, an intensive program that specializes in teaching baseball skills.

As part of the program, he also manages amateur baseball teams, and took one to the Cal Ripken Experience week-long tournament in Myrtle Beach, S.C., last week.

Saugus Selectman Mark Mitchell, who manages the Saugus Wings of the New England Baseball League, also took his team to Myrtle Beach last week. The Wings played Valentine’s BVSA Fury in a game. They lost, but they had the last laugh, as they won the tournament by defeating a team from Columbus, Ohio.

“It was kind of surreal,” Mitchell said, on managing against Valentine. “Obviously, with the storied career he’s had as a manager, we were surprised to see him. We had no idea he was the coach. We were surprised to see him come out to home plate (to exchange lineups).”

The other aspect of the game that gave Mitchell and his players a thrill was that it was on the campus of Coastal Carolina, the team that won the recent College World Series.

“That was pretty cool too,” Mitchell said. “Our kids were really excited to play there. Playing against Valentine just added a little spice to the game.”

The Fury and the Wings were two of eight teams in the tournament, which is for players roughly 16 through 19. Some members of Mitchell’s team go to Saugus High, and others to surrounding high schools.

The game against Valentine’s Fury was part of the preliminary, or “pool,” stage. Once all the teams play each other, four emerge as semifinalists. The Fury and Wings were two of them. Valentine’s team lost in the semifinal to the Ohio team Saugus defeated in the final.

“He was very nice to us,” Mitchell said. “Once he found out we were from Boston, he was very excited. He had a big smile on on his face. And he told us he had a lot of friends in Saugus, so he was happy to see us.”

He took his picture with members of the team, signed autographs and told them that if his team couldn’t win the tournament, he was glad Saugus did.

“This seemed as enjoyable to him as it was to us,” Mitchell said.

His happiness about seeing people from Boston didn’t stop Valentine from being competitive, Mitchell said.

“He was very vocal from the dugout,” Mitchell said.  

“I’m not sure if he was serious or not, but one of our guys had an elbow guard on, and he kind of stuck it out toward a pitch that was inside. (Valentine) yelled ‘if he sticks his elbow out there again, break his elbow.’ His kid was throwing hard, too. In the mid-80s.”

Saugus led in that game most of the way, and was ahead 5-2 before the Wings had a bad inning and the Fury scored seven runs. They eventually won the game, 10-5.

Mitchell said Valentine could also take a ribbing.

Valentine managed the Red Sox for one season, in 2012, taking over for Terry Francona after the club crashed and burned at the end of the previous season. The Red Sox finished last under Valentine, and the manager was the subject of several controversial incidents that season.

The following year, under John Farrell, the Red Sox won the World Series.

“Our kids are old enough to know that the Sox didn’t have a great season the year Valentine managed them and they were razzing him a little,” Mitchell said. He was laughing and joking and giving it back to them. He was very good-natured. Had a smile on his face the whole time.”


Steve Krause can be reached at skrause@itemlive.com.

Lessons in and out of Saugus schools

Laurie Golan holds gifts given to her on color day at Saugus High School to celebrate her retirement after 32 years as a math teacher.

SAUGUS — Teachers get credit for inspiring their students, but it’s rare when they can save a life.

“A former student came to my retirement party,” said Laurie Golan, who worked as a math teacher at Saugus High School for 32 years. “He shared a story and said that if it wasn’t for me, he wouldn’t be here today.”

The former student recalled how Golan “was on his case all the time and wouldn’t let him sleep through lessons,” she recalled. After failing her class twice, he took a lower level math class instead.

“I told him he shouldn’t be in a general class, he could do better,” Golan said. “I told him he should get back in my class and try harder. He said that while I was talking to him, he had his hand clenched around a bottle of pills in his pocket. He was going to kill himself that day. He said ‘you saved my life and you probably saved other people too.’”

As longtime teachers retire, they’re reflecting on how their careers became more than just jobs. Golan was among 13 Saugus Public Schools staff members who retired this year.

When Golan took a job as a teacher, she didn’t realize the job meant more than just being an educator. Her college courses prepared her for subject matter, not real life situations.

Throughout her career, she found herself getting actively involved in her students’ lives. For one student, she showed support by going to the Suffolk County Courthouse to witness the student testify in court about being abused.

In 1999, she established Shadow Day, which allows students to spend a day in a career field they are interested in. Golan said she has learned of countless former students who pursued careers in the industry they shadowed, and heard from others who realized after shadowing experiences that they weren’t cut out for a particular career.

Teresa Duffy, a paraprofessional who worked with students on an education plan, retired from the Veterans Memorial Elementary School. She said she feels proud when she runs into her former students while they’re at work.

“I just love them,” Duffy said. “I used to always wonder what would happen to these kids, where they would end up. I’m glad that they went as far as getting a job and being with the public.”

Duffy grew up in East Boston, moved to Revere, then started her career in Saugus. Starting out, she served as a crossing guard and a lunchroom aide. She went on to become a paraprofessional on an on-call basis, working in different Saugus schools from one day to the next.

During that time, she worked with students with disabilities, and learned how to help each child individually. She said she enjoyed doing something different every day.

“There were days that were good and days that weren’t,” Duffy said. “It was the kind of job that was different every day. That was my favorite part.”

She eventually secured a more permanent position and was assigned students to work with throughout the school year. Depending on the student’s needs, Duffy provided extra help.

“There was a time when I was with the same group from third grade through eighth grade,” Duffy said. “I knew everything about them. I see a few at Stop & Shop. One boy is so cute. He will say ‘Mrs. Duffy, how much do you miss me?’ and open his hands wide and say ‘this much?”

Among other retirees, Annette Moorehouse served as a teacher at the Belmonte Middle School for 47 years. Both Moorehouse and Jeannie Barbera began teaching eighth grade on the same day in 1961: Moorehouse in English and Barbera teaching science.

“The two of them came in right at the same time,” said Amy Guider, executive assistant to the superintendent. “They have a joking rivalry going on between the two of them.”

Other retiring teachers include Susan Cronin, after 19 years, Deborah Ward, 19 years, Carolina Leone, 39 years, and Nella Juliano, 11 years. Paraprofessionals Robin Angelo, 14 years, and Karin Brown, 21 years.
Joyce Blais, retired from the Belmonte Middle School after 24 years in a clerical position. Michelle Birritteri, 17 years, Concetta Federico, 15 years, and Susan Forte, 26 years, retired from cafeteria positions.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Frances Weber, 82

WILMINGTON, Del. — Mrs. Frances (Ludwig) Weber, age 82, passed away peacefully after a long illness on Saturday, June 18, at the Christiana Hospital in Wilmington, Del., with her family present. She was the loving wife of Alfred Christian Weber with whom she shared 50 years of marriage.

Born in Lynn and raised in Saugus, she was the daughter of the late Hazel (Mannnetta) and Charles Ludwig. Frances graduated from Saugus High School in 1952, Salem State College, obtaining a bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She always loved children, a teacher in Saugus for many years, first, third and fifth grades. Eventually she became a reading specialist.

Frances previously lived in Rochester, N.Y., and Detroit, Mich., before moving to Delaware where she taught at a private school. Frances was  an avid reader and delighted in providing books for neighborhood children.

Besides her husband, Frances is survived by her sister Carole (Ludwig) Drake of Saugus, one uncle, Frank Ludwig of New Hampshire, two aunts, Barbara Merrithew and Marjorie Taatjes, both of Saugus, one niece, Debra Drake, two nephews, Daniel Drake and Douglas Drake, two great-nephews, Jared and Nathan, one great-great-niece, Kerrigan and many cousins.

Service information: A memorial service was held in Delaware. Special thanks to Hai ja Curtis for her love and assistance.

John C. Lynn, 71

SAUGUS — Mr. John C. Lynn, age 71, died on Wednesday, June 29, at his home surrounded by his family. He was the loving husband of Donna L. (Eldridge) Lynn.

Born in Lowell on April 27, 1945, he was the son of the late Andrew and Marguerite (Shannon) Lynn and lived in Saugus most of his life. He graduated from Saugus High School and attended Northeastern University. John had a robust work ethic, often working between two and four jobs at any given time. He worked as a foreman at General Electric for 33 years, and also worked as a lobsterman, at UPS in Logan Airport and served 22 years in the U.S. National Guard. He instilled a love of fishing, the sea and the outdoors in his children.

In addition to his wife he leaves one daughter, Karen E. Lynn of So. Hadley, one son, Stephen A. Lynn of Wellesley, three grandchildren, Braden, Harrison and Helena Lynn, two brothers, Robert Lynn of Saugus, Francis Lynn of Ohio, one sister, Mary Lynn of Saugus.

Service information: Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours in the Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, on Friday, 4-8 p.m. A funeral service will be held in the funeral home on Saturday at 9 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to NH Timberland Owners Assoc. at www.NHTOA.org.

Francis Weber, 82

WILMINGTON, Del. — Mrs. Francis (Ludwig) Weber, age 82, passed away peacefully after a long illness on Saturday, June 18, at the Christiana Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, with her family present. She was the loving wife of Alfred Christian Weber, with whom she shared 50 years of marriage.

Born in Lynn and raised in Saugus, she was the daughter of the late Hazel (Mannnetta) and Charles Ludwig. Frances graduated from Saugus High School in 1952, then Salem State College, obtaining a bachelor’s and master’s degrees. She always loved children, a teacher in Saugus for many years, first, third and fifth grades. Eventually she became a reading specialist. Frances previously lived in Rochester, N.Y., and Detroit, Mich., before moving to Delaware where she taught at a private school. Frances was  an avid reader and delighted in providing books for neighborhood children.

Besides her husband, Francis is survived by her sister, Carole (Ludwig) Drake of Saugus, one uncle, Frank Ludwig of New Hampshire, two aunts, Barbara Merrithew and Marjorie Taatjes, both of Saugus, one niece, Debra Drake, two nephews, Daniel Drake and Douglas Drake, two great-nephews, Jared and Nathan, one great-great-niece, Kerrigan and many cousins.

Special thanks to Hai ja Curtis for her love and assistance.

Service information: A memorial service was held in Delaware.

Saugus never forgets a fallen police officer

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
A bronze statue serves as a memorial for fallen police officer Harold L. Vitale at Harold L. Vitale Park in Saugus.

BY LIZ SOOLKIN

SAUGUS — Friends and family gathered on the 25th anniversary at the park named to honor fallen police officer Harold L. Vitale, who was killed in the line of duty 31 years ago.

Vitale Park, on Ballard Street, adjacent to the Fox Hill Yacht Club, features “Artorius,” an abstract bronze statue as he raises his sword above his head in a brave, defiant gesture. The figure was created in Vitale’s and other law enforcement officers’ honor who risk their lives to protect others.

“Even now, 31 years after his death, I still meet people who jump at my last name,” said Robert Vitale, Harold’s brother. “Time and time again, people burst into tears when they talk about my brother.”

Friends who gathered at the tiny park said it is evident that Harold Vitale was a beloved member of the Saugus community. They gathered in his honor to share the joy of his life, as well as the grief of their loss. The event was attended by law enforcement officers, even those who are too young to have known him.

“Everyone who ever met him could only say kind things about him,” said one officer who declined to be identified.

Prior to Harold’s work as a law enforcement officer, he owned an auto repair shop, where he provided help to the Saugus community.

“He was known and beloved by all,” said Robert Vitale. “When he walked through town, every single person would turn and say ‘hello.’ ”  

As the years after his death wear on, the memory of Harold’s name and the positive impact he had on his community will never die thanks to his brothers and other members of his family, said Les Vitale.

In the officer’s honor, the Vitale Family Scholarship was created to award $1000 each to six students annually. The grant is given to students who achieve academic excellence and are committed to making positive change in their communities.

The students honored at this year’s event included Tayla Ann Kenny from Saugus High School, Victoria R. Scorzella from Winthrop High School, Catherine Elam from Revere High School, Ally Hinojosa from Revere High School, Courtney Lee Cassidy and Nicholas Anthony Peveri from St. Mary’s High School.

Peveri, a Lynn resident who will attend Merrimack College in the fall, was present at the event on Saturday to receive the scholarship. He said that his father’s profession as a police officer in Lynn has inspired him to join the force. Peveri expressed his gratitude for the opportunity provided by the Vitale family.

“I admire my father and expect to follow in his footsteps to become part of the Lynn law enforcement community,” he said.

Saugus School Committee walks budget tightrope

BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — The School Department is faced with working around a substantial budget shortfall.

At Wednesday’s School Committee meeting, Acting Superintendent Michael Hashem updated the budget’s status after Town Meeting approved $28.1 million earlier this week.

The school’s fiscal year 2017 operating budget is about $503,000 short of the school committee’s request, but more than last year’s allocation.

“We did try to put a freeze on the budget to do some cost containments,” said Hashem. “The fact is that we’re still about $500,000 below level service. That’s still a factor. It will still involve additional efficiencies or cuts.”

Jeannie Meredith, chairwoman of the committee, said she was grateful for the additional money the town manager and finance committee recommended.

“The budget passed unanimously Monday night,” said Meredith. “It was unanimous for first time in long time. We always want more, and we always need more. It’s human nature. As a tax paying citizen, I do understand the importance of balancing a budget.”

Arthur Grabowski, committee member, said the panel is aware that there will be at least two deficits going into the next school year: athletics and food service.

Hashem presented a survey offered to parents of outgoing eighth graders. Of the 31 respondents, 58 percent said they would not attend Saugus High School in the fall, and nearly 10 percent said they were undecided. About 75 percent who will attend the school said their decision was based on the strong curriculum.

The majority of those who said they would not attend listed lack of course offerings and athletic fees as reasons. Nearly 80 percent said they were seeking a safer environment, and about 75 percent said Saugus High School would not prepare them for college.

Committee member Peter Manoogian said he was surprised by the information after recently hearing graduates talk about acceptance to schools including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University.

Hashem added that more than 91 percent of this year’s graduates are attending a two or four year college next year.

“I was talking to a couple of the graduates on the night of the graduation,” said Liz Marchese, a committee member. “The person that was 65th in that class still has a 3.5 GPA. A third of the class was 3.5 or above. These kids are taking names.”

The group will continue discussing the budget on Monday.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcote@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @Bridget Turcotte.

Barbara A. Leonard, 98

WinthropBarbara A. (Anthony) Leonard, age 98, of Winthrop, formerly of Lynn, died peacefully on Tuesday, June 7, 2016, at home. She was the loving wife of the late Francis J. Leonard Sr., and the daughter of the late Louis B. and Mary (McKee) Anthony.

Born May 13, 1918, and raised in Saugus, she was a graduate of Saugus High School. She and her husband lived and raised their family in Lynn. They moved to Winthrop over 30 years ago. She later worked as a talented floral designer at Tony the Florist in Lynn, retiring in her 70’s. She was an avid New England Patriots fan and enjoyed sending birthday wishes to friends and relatives via facebook. She enjoyed completing jigsaw puzzles, taking day trips with her sister, Betty Maxwell, and enjoying delicious meals. Above all, Barbara loved spending time with her family. If ever there were a life to celebrate, it would be hers.

She is survived by her children, Frank Leonard and his wife, Ann, of Lynn, Michael Leonard and his wife, Donna, of Lynn, Tim Leonard and his wife, Kathleen, of Salem, and Barbara DeLeo of Winthrop. She also leaves ten grandchildren, Frank, John, Michelle, Michael, Laurie, Lisa, Amy, Katelyn, Rachele and Robbie, as well as her 17 great-grandchildren. She was the sister of the late Louis Anthony, Betty Maxwell, Jean Bentley and Priscilla Anthony.

Service information: Her funeral service will be held in the SOLIMINE FUNERAL HOME, 67 Ocean St., (Route 1A), Lynn, on Saturday at 11 a.m. Interment will be in Winthrop Cemetery. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting hours will be Friday from 4-7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Boston Medical Center-Elders Living at Home, 850 Harrison Ave., Yawkey ACC 4S-18, Boston, MA 02118, or www.bmc.org/eldersathome. Directions and guest book at Solimine.com.

Salutations in Saugus

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Zaraa Mariyah-Lee Cabral sports appropriate eyewear at Saugus High’s graduation ceremony Friday.

BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — Saugus High School graduates crossed the stage to receive their diplomas Friday night at Stackpole Field.

“As said by philosopher and innovator, the one and only James Franco, ‘they hate us ‘cos they ain’t us,” said Salutatorian Omar Tuffaha.

Tuffaha pointed to the class’ participation in the drama program and band, and the skill of senior athletes.

Speech after speech, students and faculty spoke well of the graduates from academic success to prevailing over other classes on Color Day.

“Just think, we lived through ebola, Kony 2012, Rebecca Black and we still managed to graduate,” Tufaha said.

Teacher Valerie Bedard spoke of valedictorian Keis Bejgo, saying she has a love for learning.

“I cannot remember having any students more intellectually curious than she is,” Bedard said.

Bejgo, who will attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall, said it was the class’ passion that led to its accomplishments.

“As I look back at all that our class has achieved, both inside and outside the classroom, I see that it was our collective passion that led us to accomplish feats that no other class has,” Bejgo said. “It was our passion that drove us to dedicate the endless hours that we did towards color day, when we knew that as non-seniors, our chances of winning were slim.”

She said it was that passion that drove the class to achieve record grade point averages and test scores.

“It was our passion for education and sports that drove us to unite and flood down to protest budget cuts,” Bejgo said.

Jeannie Meredith, chairwoman of the school committee, encouraged graduates to maintain the values and ethics they’ve learned in high school as they enter the next chapter of their lives.

Brendon Sullivan, acting principal, said he had many of the graduating students in his class during their freshman year. He’s watched them take opportunities, which often come with challenges. He said learning how to deal with those trials have made them better and stronger.

“Push yourself beyond your comfort zone,” Sullivan said. “Always step beyond what you think you’re capable of.”


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Saugus schools to ask for $500,000

BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — Town Meeting will vote on the school budget during its third session next Monday.

The Finance Committee and Town Manager Scott Crabtree will recommend Town Meeting approve $500,000 for the Saugus School Department. The figure is a $100,000 increase from the original $400,000 recommendation.

The increase brings the school’s fiscal year 2017 operating budget to $28.1 million, about $503,000 short of the School Committee’s request, but $500,000 more than last year’s allocation.

With the additional money, plus an estimated increase of $1 million in the Schedule 19 town expenditures from last year, contributions from the town are estimated to increase by $1.5 million to $42.5 million, up from $41 million last year, Crabtree said in a statement.

Schedule 19 is a calculation of certain costs and expenses that the town spends on the schools throughout the year.

The proposed school budget includes all costs for the district, including direct costs for educating students, operational expenses, transportation, and special education, according to Crabtree. He said many of these costs are fixed and state-mandated, such as special education programs and collective bargaining requirements.

The School Committee approved a school budget of $28.6 million in January, which included a request for $1 million from the town.

At the time, committee members said it was unlikely they would receive the full amount, and discussed whether or not they should support the request, knowing they would eventually have to make cuts.

Acting Superintendent Michael Hashem talked about potential reductions at a meeting earlier this month. He said they could include laying-off as many as four teachers and a custodian at Saugus High School.

“There are going to be significant impacts with that,” Hashem said. “That would cause a reduction of electives, potential of higher class sizes, and restarting of directed studies. We would be, at the high school level, eliminating the requirement of world language, but our students would still have access to world language.”

College bound seniors would still be required to take Spanish or Latin to fulfill college requirements, he said. Graduation requirements would change to require fewer credits. The Belmonte Middle School and elementary schools could lose teachers too, he said.

The Town Meeting will be held at Town Hall at 7 p.m.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Erin M. Soper, 31

SAUGUS — Erin M. Soper, age 31, died on Thursday, May 26, at the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in Melrose.

Born in Malden and raised in Saugus, she was the loving daughter of Russell H. Soper of Saugus and Maureen (McLaughlin) Martin of Rowley. She was a graduate of Saugus High School, where she was a member of the softball team. Her hobby was applying makeup for friends and family on special occasions. Most of all, she enjoyed spending time with her friends and family. She worked as a medical assistant in a chiropractic office. Erin was a lifelong resident of Saugus.

In addition to her parents, Erin leaves her daughter, McKayla Rose Bain, one sister, Kelly Soper of Saugus, two brothers, Benjamin Martin of Saugus and James Martin III of Maine, her grandmother, Edith McLaughlin of Saugus. She was the aunt of JayDen and Jayce.

Service information: Relatives and friends are invited to attend visiting hours in the BISBEE-PORCELLA Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, on Friday, 4-8 p.m. A funeral service will be held in the funeral home on Saturday at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the addiction center of your choice. For directions and condolences www.BisbeePorcella.com.

 

Ernest Anganis, 86

SAUGUS — Mr. Ernest Anganis, age 86, died on Saturday, May 28, at the Melrose-Wakefield Hospital in Melrose. He was the loving husband of Dolores (Nichols) Anganis.

Born and raised in Saugus, Ernest was the son of the late Peter and Olga (Catsivelis) Anganis. He graduated from Saugus High School and was a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame. Mr. Anganis went on to play college football at LSU. He was the owner and manager of the Pinecrest Hotel in Saugus.

Mr. Anganis leaves his daughter, Dawn Duncan of California, two step-sons, Daniel Kelly of Maine and David Kelly of Salem, four grandchildren, Jason, Ellie, Daniel and Erin, one brother, Nonder Anganis of Saugus. He is predeceased by one brother, George Anganis.

Service information: Services were private at the request of the family. Arrangements by BISBEE-PORCELLA Funeral Home, Saugus.

 

Super new attitude in Saugus

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
New Saugus Superintendent David DeRuosi thinks highly of the town’s school system.

BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — Newly-elected superintendent David DeRuosi said the Saugus Public Schools are underrated.

“I have to go out as a superintendent and change the perception of the education system,” he said. “I see myself being an educator that gets out into the town and brings the good things to the forefront.”

Still, DeRuosi has some work to do. Last year, the state Department of Education’s report card on Saugus High School ranked it Level 3, among the lowest performing 20 percent of schools.

“I hope to come in and be able to put all the pieces together and move the district forward,” he said. “Saugus is in a good place. I think it’s ready, as a town, to really make significant gains.”

DeRuosi, who will begin his term in July, was introduced at Thursday’s school committee meeting.

He is completing his fifth year as superintendent of Malden Public Schools. He holds a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

At a previous meeting, committee member Linda Gaieski praised DeRuosi as “a straight shooter with a common touch.”

The hire will end a year-long game of musical chairs in the superintendent’s office.

Matthew Malone was chosen as interim superintendent last year, following the resignation of former superintendent Michael Tempesta. Malone left unexpectedly, which led to Michael Hashem, the Saugus High School principal, filling the vacancy.

DeRuosi said he expects to be in Saugus for a while.

“With most of my jobs, I commit and I’m in for several years,” he said. “I lived in Saugus for 20 years. I have an understanding of the community and the town. I feel like it’s a good fit right now. It’s a good match.”

While DeRuosi moved from Saugus five years ago, he still has family, his dentist and chiropractor in town.

His daughters, Ashley and Brittany, attended Saugus Public Schools. One went on to attend Merrimack College and the other Endicott College.

“They both did great and had good college careers,” DeRuosi said. “I feel that the foundation they got in Saugus public schools helped them significantly.”

Starting this summer, DeRuosi said he will get to know residents, town officials and teachers to better understand their needs and concerns.

“My job is to ask questions to really see where Saugus wants to be, and take what everybody tells me to building a plan,” he said. “Looking at building a new school complex is big. That’s something that doesn’t just happen overnight.”

But building the new school will only be a part of improving the district, he said. He also plans to help resolve problems including classroom sizes and the school budget.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Dorothy E. Dow

SAUGUSMrs. Dorothy E. (Hillis) Dow died peacefully at her home on May 7, 2016. She was the wife of the late Edward A. Dow with whom she shared 57 years of marriage.

Born in Somerville, she was the daughter of the late Horace Hillis and Mary Elizabeth (Morris) Hillis, spending most of her years in Saugus, graduating from Saugus High School in 1941 with honors. She was treasurer of the Saugus High Alumni Association for 11 years and worked on some of her class reunions. Mrs. Dow worked at Saugus Bank and Trust for 38 years. She was also a bookkeeper for Russo’s Candy House and worked at the Lynnfield Office Park part-time. She enjoyed bingo, camping, crossword puzzles, crocheting, watching the Red Sox and using her computer.

Mrs. Dow is survived by her beloved daughter, Linda J. (Dow) Pogson and her husband, Doug, of Saugus. She was the sister of Barbara (Hillis) Snell and her husband, Bill, and the late June (Hillis) Morris. Mrs. Dow also her leaves her caregiver and niece, Donna DiMauro, nieces, Cynthia St. Pierre and Bonnie Patten, nephew, Keith Morris and the late Craig Morris and many other much loved nieces and nephews.

Service information: Visiting hours will be held in the Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus, on Wednesday, 4-7 p.m., followed by a funeral service at 7 p.m. Relatives and friends are invited. Interment will take place on Friday, at 11 a.m., at Riverside Cemetery. Donations in Mrs. Dow’s memory may be made to the Northeast Animal Shelter, 347 Highland Ave., Salem, MA 01970. For directions and condolences BisbeePorcella.com.

Saugus will envision new high school

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Chairperson Arianna Quagenti slams down her gavel to adjourn the meeting during Student Government Day.

 

BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — Starting Wednesday, residents will get a chance to create a new vision for the Saugus Public  Schools.

The workshops, to be held over the next two months, will include parents, teachers, principals and anyone who wishes to get involved.

Michael Hashem, acting superintendent of Saugus Public Schools, said last week’s Student Government Day opened administrators’ eyes to the value of student voices.

During the event, students held faux School Committee, Board of Selectmen and Town Meeting sessions to  discuss real issues, including construction of the new high school.

“We’re trying to work around students’ schedules,” said teacher Richard Lavoie, who organized the day.

“They have a lot of good feedback.”

While high schoolers aren’t likely to see changes implemented during their time as students, Hashem said many of them will hopefully see the reforms as community members or parents someday.

In conjunction with the school building project, the town is setting goals and determining where the district should be in the years ahead, Hashem said

Participants will discuss 21st century learning, define student success, review programs, services and structure, best teaching practices, and spaces and places for learning.

Residents can also debate upcoming School Committee decisions, including school choice.

“It’s more on the educational vision for the future,” Hashem said. “I think we’ll get into where we see the classrooms going in the 21st century and beyond. What will the classrooms look like and need to be like to be viable in 20 years?”

Led by educational planner Frank Locker, the seminars will be held on May 11, June 7, and June 10 and focus on the district. The second group will be held June 15, 16 and 17, to discuss the middle and high schools.

Educational videos will also be shown and lunch will be provided.

The first seminar will be held on May 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Saugus High School.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte

Lawrence I. Phipps, 70

SAUGUSLawrence I. Phipps, age 70, of Tewksbury, formerly of Saugus, passed away peacefully, April 20, 2016, following a lengthy illness. He was the beloved husband of Phyllis A. (Muise). Lawrence was born in Manneheim, Germany and came to the United States as an infant where he was adopted by his parents, the late Wesley and Annie (Weir) Phipps.

Lawrence was raised and educated in Saugus and was a graduate of Saugus High School. He worked for 43 years as a production handler with General Electric in Lynn prior to his retirement in 2012. He was a member of the IUE local 201.

When not working, Lawrence had many interests. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed working in the garden, tending to his fruits and vegetables, and collected coins and stamps. Lawrence was a talented musician and was an accomplished player of the traditional Greek stringed instrument the bouzouki.

In addition to his beloved wife, Phyllis, Lawrence is survived by his sister, Sandra Phipps of Shirley, sister-in-law, Janice Smith of Ft. Myers, Fla., several nieces and nephews and his dear friend, Bruce McPhee of Epping, N.H.

Service information: A funeral service will be conducted in the DELLO RUSSO FAMILY FUNERAL HOME, 374 Main St., Wilmington on Tuesday, May 10, at 12 p.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Interment services will be held at a later date. Contributions may be made in Lawrence’s memory to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105-1942. To leave an online message of condolence please visit Dellorusso.net.

Students call shots in Saugus

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Saugus selectman Jennifer D’Eon is ready to help student selectman Anthony Cogliano.

BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — Ninth grade honors students participated in Student Government Day for the first time in more than a decade.

To give his students an understanding of how town government works, Saugus High School history teacher Richard Lavoie brought back the tradition.

Tuesday morning began with faux Board of Selectmen and School Committee meetings. Guided by town officials, students assumed the roles and acted on issues of the day.

Following the meetings, they gathered in the Town Hall Auditorium for a “Town Meeting.” Lavoie organized a group of 30 town meeting members, assigning them to represent the precincts they live in. The Board of Selectmen sat at the left of the room, where selectmen would sit during a real meeting. The remaining students attended as voters.

The students were guided and coached by selectmen, school committee and town meeting members who volunteered to teach the children about the sessions.

Up for discussion were funds to purchase new police cars, the feasibility of either a new high school or combination middle/high school, and funding the remodeling of Town Hall. While the students were given advice and guided by town officials, they argued their own opinions.

  • Gabriel Rivera, who acted as the executive director of finance and administration for Saugus Public Schools, said he was most surprised by the items that garnered the most discussion. He thought there would be a lot more discussion on building the new high school, but there was a lot more talk about whether or not to remodel Town Hall.
  • Arianna Quagenti, who played chairman of the Board of Selectmen, thought there were better uses for the money, such as public safety investments.
  • Chantakrak Ath-ly, the mock town manager, argued that the Town Hall building needs to be treated with respect, and that includes the upkeep of its image.
  • Seven Greer, who served as a school committee member for the day, argued that it’s the heart and soul of what’s inside the building that matters, not its appearance. He said the money should go towards education. “Our kids are learning out of textbooks that are 10 years old with pages missing,” he said.

Lavoie said the activity coincides with what the students are learning about the fundamentals of American government in class. He hopes to continue the exercise next year and said the students take away a better understanding of the meeting process.

“What I really liked is that when they realized they can ask questions and change articles, they felt empowered,” said Debra Panetta, chairman of the Board of Selectmen. “They very quickly got up and started asking questions. I think they learned a lot from today’s lesson. Much more than they could from a book.”

Elizabeth Marchese, a School Committee member, was impressed.

“These are freshmen,” she said. “I can’t imagine what these students will be like as seniors. It says a lot about the Belmonte Middle School and the Saugus High School system.”


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Robert E. Driscoll, 69

PEABODYRobert Edward “Bob” Driscoll, 69, proud longtime resident of Peabody, passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, April 24, 2016, doing what he loved most, playing hockey.

Born in Everett, he grew up with his loving parents, Dan and Marguerite, and his six siblings in Saugus. He matriculated at Saugus High School and graduated from St. Mary’s, Lynn, in 1964. He received his Bachelor of Arts from St. Dunstan’s University in Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, and earned a Master of Arts in education from Salem State College in 1974.

Bob was known for his exceptional work as a teacher, a coach and a public servant. Teaching was his vocation in the truest sense of the word. He took particular joy in imparting his knowledge, experience, and joy of learning and competition to others, especially the youth he spent his life mentoring. He spent the greater part of his career teaching history at Northeast Regional Metropolitan Vocational High School in Wakefield.

He coached various sports, most notably ice hockey at Masconomet Regional High School, where he was hailed as a legendary hall of fame coach, winning games and awards, but more importantly shaping young people’s lives. Bob treated his students and athletes as though they were his own children, mentoring them and holding them to high expectations. He also served as the Ward 4 City Councilor in Peabody for 28 years, where he worked tirelessly to improve the city on behalf of its citizens.

He is survived by his beloved wife of over 45 years, Sally, and his 10 children, Bobby Jr., his wife, Karen, and their three children of Scottsdale, Ariz., Sara Driscoll McKenna, her husband, Mark, and their four children, of PEI, Canada, Mark of Santa Barbara, Calif., Joseph of Eagle Point, Ore., Tisha Driscoll Tubbs, her husband, Curtis, and their two children of Oakland Calif., Bridget of Boston, Maggie Driscoll McCormick and her husband, Nick, of Tampa, Fla., Sean of Boston, Katelyn of Los Angeles, Calif. and Teddy of Los Angeles, Calif. He is also survived by his six siblings, Daniel and Ellen Driscoll of Lynn, Marybeth and Peter Wonson of Essex, John and Susan Driscoll of Lynnfield, Martha and Richard Healey of Kingston, N.H., David Driscoll of Salem, Stephen and Margaret Driscoll of Manchester-by-the-Sea, and countless nieces, nephews and cousins. His absence will be felt by everyone who had the privilege of knowing Bob and his infectious positivity.

Service information: Visiting hours with the family will be held on Thursday, April 28, from 3-8 p.m., at the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home at 82 Lynn St., Peabody. His funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday, April 29, at 11 a.m., at St. John the Baptist Church at 16 Church St., Peabody. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to “Coach Bob’s Memorial Fund” Eastern Bank, 37 Foster St., Peabody, MA 01960, or electronically through PayPal www.paypal.me/coachbobsmemorial (Account: coachbobsmemorialfund@gmail.com). Please visit Ccbfuneral.com for directions, online obituary and memorial guest book

Super pick in Saugus

David DeRuosi is the new superintendent of Saugus schools.

BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — David DeRuosi is the new superintendent of Saugus Public Schools.

The school committee voted 4-1 in favor of DeRuosi. Elizabeth Marchese was the sole vote against.

DeRuosi, superintendent of Malden Public Schools, holds a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Committee member Linda Gaieski said DeRuosi “Appears to be the total package and meets every qualification with his strong skillset and problem solving and conflict resolution skills.”

Gaieski said she’s confident he will be able to handle the Saugus High School building project. She characterized him as a “straight shooter with a common touch” and a good sense of humor.

Matthew Malone was chosen as interim superintendent last year, following the resignation of former superintendent Michael Tempesta.

Malone resigned unexpectedly, which led to Michael Hashem, the Saugus High School principal, stepping in to fill his shoes.

A sub-committee of 21 members was formed to find a permanent fill for the position. The other candidates included two former superintendents: Patricia Lally, of Holbrook Public Schools; John Macero, of Winthrop Public Schools; and Carla Scuzzarella, principal of North Andover High School.

Committee member Arthur Grabowski said all four candidates would have been suitable choices for the job. But DeRuosi is the best fit.

“They are all great candidates, but at this point in time Dr. DeRuosi is what we need to move our schools forward,” Grabowski said. “We have a great leadership team here in Saugus that he’ll be able to work with.”

Other committee members agreed.

“It is clear to me that any one of those candidates could have stepped into this role, however, Dr. DeRuosi appears to have the most direct, sustained, successful experience,” said committee member Peter Manoogian. “Plus, he meets the criteria established by the focus groups.”

DeRuosi is expected to start on July 1, pending contract approvals. At that time, Hashem will return to his position as principal of Saugus High School.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Saugus Garden Club is about to bloom

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Lorraine DiMilla, left, and Leonora Dyment of the Saugus Garden Club get ready for their raffle on April 20 at Saugus Town Hall.

BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — The Saugus Garden Club is springing into its biggest event of the year, the Annual Open Meeting & Fundraiser.

The perennial gathering, estimated to be in its 70th year, will be held at Town Hall Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

The 50-member North Shore organization meets monthly to discuss gardening and horticulture, and to create flower arrangements.

They are involved in a variety of year-round events, including the Strawberry Festival and recent bicentennial celebration. It maintains a butterfly garden and perennials at Breakheart Reservation and will participate in the park’s upcoming cleanup, co-chair Lorraine DiMilla said.

The annual fundraiser helps the club afford occasional guest speakers and to sponsor a $500 scholarship awarded to a Saugus High School senior. Last year, as many as 300 guests attended the benefit, according to DiMilla.

Laura Bibler will be a guest speaker. She is a graduate of Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University and holds a certificate in landscape design. She serves on the executive board of the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts, is co-chair of Civic Development and Preservation of Historic Land and Garden Grants, and chair of the Historic Preservation Committee.

Bibler has created and directed the installation of landscape designs at historic estates, and completed projects ranging from modest gardens to comprehensive master plans.

She will present “Perennials in the Garden and Residential Landscapes,” followed by a question and answer session.

Garden Club members will provide homemade desserts, including cookies, cakes and beverages, for guests.

Members Leonora Dyment and Susan Thomas will create floral arrangements to be raffled off at the event. Ticket prices range from $2 to $10. All raffle items are worth at least $25 each, Dyment said.

DiMilla calls Dyment a top notch florist who frequently leads the group in creating arrangements.

“It’s really a lot of fun,” Dyment said.

Upcoming events include “Art in Bloom” at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts on May 2, a luncheon at Breakheart May 18 and the Historical Society Strawberry Festival June 18.

Admission to the fundraiser is $5.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

 

Erik Lee Whitehurst, 41

SAUGUSErik Lee Whitehurst, 41, resident of Lewiston, Maine and originally from Saugus, passed away on Monday, April 11, 2016. He was born Oct. 20, 1974, in Lynn.

The son of Steven Gary Whitehurst and Lynda Dobson Whitehurst, he graduated from Saugus High School.

Erik is survived by his sons, Nathan Henry Manning and Lincoln Paul Gauthier, his brother, Steven Daniel Whitehurst and his sister, Lindsey Beth Whitehurst. Predeceased by his sister, Amy.

Service information: Private services will be held for his family.

Richard J. Keefe, 89

LYNNFIELD — Mr. Richard J. Keefe, 89 years, of Lynnfield, died Tuesday, April 11, 2016, at home surrounded by his loving family. He was the husband of Mrs. Rose M. (Gianni) Keefe. He was born in Lynn, the son of the late Michael J. and Mary S. (Collins) Keefe. He was raised in Saugus and was a 1944 graduate of Saugus High School. He has lived in Lynnfield the past 55 years

Mr. Keefe was a Navy Veteran of WWII and served on the USS Maddox. He received the WWII Victory Medal, and the Asiatic Pacific Medal. Mr. Keefe enjoyed genealogy and computers.

He was employed as an air craft engine tester for the General Electric Co., Aircraft Engine Group, Building 46. He retired in 1988 after 45 years of service with GE.

In addition to his wife with whom he shared 64 years of marriage, he leaves, two sons, Mark R. Keefe of Dover, N.H., Paul M. Keefe and his wife, Mary, of Lynnfield, a daughter, Sharon R. DiFiore and her husband, William, of Reading, his grandchildren, Eli J. DiFiore of Reading, Alyssa A. “Allie” DiFiore of New York City, Nicholas A Keefe of Greenland, N.H., Victoria R. “Tori” Keefe and her husband, Alfredo Sanchez, of Jacksonville, Fla., and a great-granddaughter, Salem Sanchez of Jacksonville.

Service information: His services will be held on Friday, April 15, 2016, at 10 a.m., from the SOLIMINE FUNERAL HOME, 426 Broadway (Route 129), Lynn, followed by graveside services in Forest Hills Cemetery, Lynnfield, at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Visiting hours are on Thursday, 4-8 p.m. Donations may be made to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 127 Summer St., Lynnfield, MA 01940. Directions and guest book at Solimine.com.

Shadows cast over Saugus students

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
J. Pace & Son employee Maria Golen helps Saugus High School juniors Kristen Barry, middle, and Jessica Jeffrey with a brownie tray.

BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — Local firefighters ignited an interest in six Saugus High School students during the school’s Shadow Day.

About 80 students and 70 mentors participated in the annual program Wednesday, which has been organized by math teacher Laurie Golan for more than 20 years.  

Golan pairs high school juniors with local professionals working in a variety of careers based on the student’s interests. This year, the Fire Department added fuel to the fire by demonstrating a realistic fire training exercise for the students.

Firefighters have been using a trailer, called a mobile training unit, to practice live fire training exercises all week, said Fire Chief Michael Newbury. The training is conducted in the lot outside the department.

Bill Cross, a firefighter with the department, who has served as a program mentor for 20 years, said he saw an opportunity to do something different with the children this year.

“This is a great opportunity for them to watch this stuff,” Cross said. “These kids are seeing, in the personal sense, what a fire is really like.”

Inside the trailer, a fire is controlled safely by an operator manning a switchboard. The students gathered to watch in anticipation, as firefighters entered to extinguish the flames.

Conditions simulated a bed fire, located in the rear corner of the trailer. As firefighters made their way through the trailer, the operator changes conditions and fire erupts in other locations, as it would in a real fire.

“Shadow day is a great opportunity to show high school students different career paths,” Cross said. “I’ve had four kids come through Shadow Day and become firefighters.”

One of the students, Anthony Arone, became a Saugus firefighter and participated in the program as a mentor this year.

At the Saugus Police Department, students accompanied Chief Domenic DiMella and a few officers on a tour of the department; participated in a seminar on policing; learned how to shoot at the department’s gun range; and discussed paths to becoming an officer.

“One student, who wants to work in this field, is considering becoming a Marine,” he said. “(Shadow Day) is great for kids interested in the line of work,” he said. “They get a taste of police operations.”

Joseph DiVola, a student, said he never considered a career in law enforcement, but chose to shadow an officer because he had heard from friends that it was a great experience. A few hours into the program, DiVola said he was hooked on police work.

Student Max Hunt said he has always wanted to become a police officer and the experience only reaffirmed his decision.

Michael Hashem, acting superintendent of Saugus Public Schools, said while the program is effective in showing students careers they want to pursue, it’s just as effective in helping them decide what they don’t want to do before they go to college.

The mentors also like having somebody show an interest in their career, Hashem said.

“It unites the students with community members,” he said,

Shadow Day is sponsored by the Saugus Business Education Collaborative.


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

The shadow of a reporter

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Saugus High School junior Josh Whiting gets to interview Item reporter Bridget Turcotte.

BY JOSHUA WHITING

SAUGUS — When I was given the chance to participate in Shadow Day, I took the opportunity to see what careers would interest me.

While filling out the application, I focused on writing and working in the communications field.

In truth, the idea of shadowing a reporter was not the most enticing. I had previously taken a journalism class, which was not one of my best experiences. But when I met The Daily Item’s Bridget Turcotte, I made the most of the opportunity.

Turcotte was very insightful about her career. She answered all my questions about the difficult business that journalism can be. She instantly got my feet wet by having a quick interview with Michael Hashem, acting superintendent of the Saugus Public Schools.

Hashem expressed how valuable this day is for participants. He called it a meaningful experience that unites students.

Nobody is more experienced with Shadow Day than Laurie Golan. She has organized the event for the past two decades. It is her final year of teaching mathematics at the high school.  

Golan said the program works because it’s an experience students can’t get in the classroom. Over the years, many students who have participated in Shadow Day have told her that the experience helped them figure out how they wanted to spend a career.

As the day continued, being Turcotte’s shadow became increasingly more interesting.  

We visited J. Pace & Son, interviewed other participants and asked them about how their experience was going.  

“I’m having fun,” said Kristen Barry as she organized pastries.

Next, at the Saugus Fire Department, we met firefighters who were training with a mobile unit. We met Bill Cross, a firefighter who has participated in Shadow Day for several years. Cross said that the program is important because it shows high school students different career paths.

Next, we met with students who shadowed with the Saugus Police Department. Chief Domenic DiMella, now in his eighth year of mentoring students, said every year he meets students who want to become police officers.  

Joseph DiVola, a junior, said he never considered a career as a police officer, but is now interested.  His example demonstrates how important this day is to students, by opening up options.

It also brought Max Hunt, a junior, closer to the field that he has always wanted to pursue.

“I still want to be a police officer,” he said.

Later, I visited The Item’s newsroom, where I was asked to write a story about my experience.  This has been one of the most influential experiences that I have had in my life. I was shown the ropes of journalism by a fantastic reporter.

I learned a lot in a very short amount of time and my understanding of the media has changed, from negative to positive. My answer to the daunting question of “what do you want to do with your life?” is now that I want to become a reporter.


Joshua Whiting is a junior at Saugus High School. Whiting shadowed Item reporter Bridget Turcotte for the school’s Shadow Day.

Carving out a legacy in Saugus

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Carmine Moshella is framed by two wooden Helix pieces that were made by senior citizens in the wood shop he runs at Saugus High School.

By BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — If you’ve been to Town Hall, had lunch at the high school, visited the library or read a bulletin board at the Waybright Elementary School, then you’ve likely seen Carmine Moschella’s handiwork.

The 88-year-old woodworker has been completing and donating woodworking projects to the town for several years. Moschella said he’s built so many items, he can’t remember them all.

He constructed an intricately designed three-piece conference desk used by the Board of Selectmen, the glass display cabinets in the foyer of Town Hall and the credenza in its conference room, the handicap accessible podium in the auditorium, the women’s military service display case and the Early American Garden Club coat rack.

“I just love this kind of work,” Moschella said.

For the Saugus Senior Center, Moschella created the Money Tree, which displays the names of those who make a donation of $200 or larger on the leaves of a wooden sapling. For the library, he produced two computer cabinets that hold up to 800 compact discs each, boat paddles that are displayed in the children’s section and 200 feet of red oak shelving.

Among several other projects, he also assembled the podium used at school committee meetings, several bulletin boards around town, the stanches used to organize lines of hungry students at the high school and carved the sachem sign on Pearce Memorial Drive.

Willing to take any job, Moschella started working at Gerte’s Furniture on Albany Street in Boston at 18. For nearly a year, he spent his days sanding chairs created by furniture designers.

“The shop had high-end clientele,” he said. “I used to go home and my fingers would be sore.”

After about eight months, his boss asked him to make something simple. He worked at the shop and learned how to craft different items for the next five years until he was drafted by the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict.

Two years later, Moschella returned home and studied industrial arts at Fitchburg State University. He took his first job as a shop teacher at Saugus High School, and though he retired in 1993, he has never stopped teaching.

Moschella offers a woodworking class to elders on Tuesday mornings at 10 a.m. at the woodshop at Saugus High. One of the people who attend the class was Moschella’s high school student 50 years ago, he said.

He also spends a lot of time completing projects for the town.

“I like detail,” Moschella said. “The carvings and inlays, I really like that. My signature is a series of plug cutters (small holes) done in such a way that it becomes part of the design of the project.”


Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Saugus opens the door to innovation

ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Second-graders Hobbes McLaughlin, left, and Cristian Dean use an iPad to read the interactive door at the Oaklandvale Elementary School in Saugus on Tuesday.

BY BRIDGET TURCOTTE

SAUGUS — Saugus schools are turning the page on traditional reading lessons and doing more to excite students about books.

At the Oaklandvale Elementary School, students in each class helped their teacher decorate the classroom door in the theme of the teacher’s favorite book or author.

The students had fun creating an artistic portrayal of their interpretation of the books. One class took the school-wide assignment one step further and created a door decoration featuring an interactive reading activity.

“I assigned a book based on each student’s reading level,” said second-grade teacher Cary Short.

Each student in the class read their assigned book, then wrote and recorded a video review. The classroom door was decorated with pictures of the assigned book covers. Short has utilized the Aurasma app, which allows students to use an iPad camera to scan book covers, prompting the appropriate video reviews to show up on the screen.

“Part of the common core is a visual report, why not make it an interactive video report using technology?” said Short. “My goal is to integrate as much technology as I can into the classroom. The kids really respond to it.”

The children are given the option to listen to the video reviews during quiet reading time. Short said the technology has made the activities more fun for the students, and also said she wants to do everything she can to “give them (the tools) to think outside the box and become 21st century learners.”

“Technology has been a huge focus here,” said Eric Jones, Oaklandvale’s principal.

In the past, doors have been decorated in a Dr. Seuss theme to celebrate Theodor Seuss Geisel’s March 2 birthday, which is also the official date of the National Read Across America campaign. However, the school has turned the celebration into a community event, and changes the date dependent based on the availability of volunteers.

“Reading is a focus every day but (this event) gets the community involved and gets the kids excited about it,” Jones said.

On March 18, guest readers from across the community visited Oaklandvale to read to students.  Volunteers included members of the Saugus Police Department, Saugus School Committee, Saugus High School students and school administration members.

“The goal is to promote reading with the students and, at the same time, kind of bridge the school with the community,” said Jones. “Every single classroom, kindergarten through grade 5 (participated). Everybody started with one guest (reader) and, if any classroom wanted another reader, they would buzz down to the office.”

Meanwhile, in celebration of International Children’s Book Day, the Ballard Early Childhood Center Parent Teacher Organization will team up with McDonald’s to collect books to grow the pre-school’s library. The center is considered a public school and aligns its curriculum with the Common Core State standards.

On Saturday, customers who donate a new or gently used hardcover children’s book at McDonald’s, located on Route 1 South at 127 Broadway, will receive a free Happy Meal in appreciation of their support.

“We are excited to be continuing our support of the Ballard Early Childhood Center, and International Children’s Book Day is the perfect opportunity to do so,” said Lindsay Wallin, restaurant owner and operator.

Elmo will make a special guest appearance between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., and Dora the Explorer will mingle with customers from 12 to 1 p.m.


 

Bridget Turcotte can be reached at bturcotte@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.

Nancy M. Ralph, 86

SAUGUS — Mrs. Nancy M. (Neale) Ralph, age 86, died on Monday, Feb. 29 surrounded by her family at her home in Saugus after a brave battle with cancer. She was the loving wife of the late Marcus M.E. Ralph.

Born in Lynn and raised in Saugus, she was the daughter of the late John and Virginia (Kidder) Neale and step-daughter of J. Tilmon LeBlanc. Mrs. Ralph was a graduate of Saugus High School, Class of 1947. She attended Malden Business School then worked at General Electric as a stenographer. She was a devoted homemaker and member of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Saugus.

Nancy leaves two sons, Christopher Ralph of Acton, Matthew Ralph and his wife Diane of Eliot, Maine; two daughters, Lisa Ralph of Saugus and Jennifer Sawyer of Saugus. She was the cherished grandmother of three grandchildren, Emily, Benjamin and Evan. She is predeceased by her son Scott J. Ralph, two brothers, John Kennedy Neale and Donald LeBlanc.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to VNA Hospice Care, 100 Trade Center, Woburn, MA 01801.

Service information: Relatives and friends are invited to attend a funeral service on Saturday at 11 a.m. in St. John’s Episcopal Church, corner of Central and Prospect streets, Saugus. Arrangements by BISBEE-PORCELLA Funeral Home, Saugus. Interment Riverside Cemetery, Saugus. For condolences BisbeePorcella.com.