Saturday, March 29, 2014

Tribute to a Fallen Hero,Firefighter Eddie Walsh

Eddie Walsh was a gentle giant who impacted my family significantly.  .  This extraordinary man was my cousin Brian's best friend through life and death, but it was only after Brian died that we truly understood what the meaning of best friend truly meant.  Eddie Walsh taught us well.

When Eddie and Brian were 29 years old, they ran a road race for a fundraiser.  After the race, they went to a pub in Watertown to celebrate the successful day.  But it turned out to be a tragic time as Brian collapsed in the parking lot.  Eddie administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation until the paramedics arrived;  no matter how much Eddie had tried, it didn't matter-Brian passed away.

I watched this gentle giant, who stood over 6 foot four inches tall, take my 5 foot aunt into his arms, and sob with her uncontrollably over the loss of Brian.  I quietly watched this as amazing man stood by my aunt and uncle and supported them for years after this tragic loss.

Our family was so grateful as this leader organized a memorial golf tournament year after year that made thousands upon thousands of dollars that were returned to the community;  Eddie carefully guided the committee to make sure that the funds were donated to places where children were helped, particularly places that Brian would have loved such as Watertown's YMCA and Oak Square's Boys and Girls Club.

Eddie always emceed the party and auction after the golf tournament.  He was known for readjusting what tickets were pulled from the raffle hat as he wanted to make sure that every child in the room went home with a prize.  He also greeted each and every person in the room to thank them for coming to this event;  it was my family that was most grateful that this best friend honored Brian every single year, yet he was thanking us!  That was Eddie -very sincere, genuine, respectful, loving, humble , loyal, duty bound and caring.  Everyone of us learned a lesson about being a best friend from watching Eddie Walsh honor the memory of my cousin Brian.

It was clear that the most loved people in Eddie's world at age thirty were his mother, father and Brian.  Next became his wife and his three children.  Eddie's devotion to friends and family was endless.

This gentle giant dropped in on my aunt and uncle throughout the years.  As difficult as it was for him to sit with his deceased friend's parents, Eddie made it his duty to make sure that he touched base with them.  For fourteen years, never did a birthday or anniversary of Brian's death pass without Eddie honoring the his memory.

One could feel the grace of God while in Eddie's presence.  You saw it in the way that he honored his parents, and how he suffered when his father passed away. You saw it in his eyes when he spoke of his wife or when he was with his children.  Everyone felt special in Eddie's presence because he gave you his undivided attention and treated you with respect one would give a king, or queen, no matter who you were.  
You saw the love for friends, family in his eyes and you felt the passion for life when he spoke of his children.  This guy was the real deal.

God has called Eddie home and none of us understand this.  His time was far too short and he was doing such great work here on earth.  This angel has earned his wings at far too early age.  

Eddie Walsh has been a role model for each one of us and showed us what it is like to live as a truly decent human being who cares more for others than himself, and his death is just one example of this. People will always remember that he died as a hero in a fire, but I hope that they will know that Eddie Walsh was a hero, a quiet hero, each and every day of his life.  

Our tears flow endlessly because we have lost somebody so special too soon, but they're probably cheering in heaven where Eddie has joined Brian and his father as the most recent angel who has completed his mission on earth.

 Eddie left ya mark on so many souls here on earth, and we thank him for the example that he set. 

Rest in peace,  Gentle Giant.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Longmeadow High School Building Committee

The Building Committee continues to meet to make sure that the project is finished to the high standards that we expect in Longmeadow.  

Members of the Committee include: Chairpersons Bobby Barkett and Peter Greenberg, Principal Larry  Berte, Assistant Principal Paul Dunkerly, Town Manager Stephen Crane, Select Board Member Mark Gold, School Committee member John Fitzgerald, community members Roland Joyal, Ron Hirsch and Richard Bistran, Finance Director Paul Pasterczyk, Director of Public Works, Michael Wrabel, the architects, engineers, general manager and OPMs.  

This Committee has worked collaboratively for many years now, and we particularly appreciate the time committed by our community volunteers.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Life Long Learning

Now that the new high school is completed, I am thinking of ways to give back to the community by making the new building accessible to all.  Emily Perkins, Jim Moran, Stacy Smith and I are meeting and planning to start some adult education courses this spring.  We are sending out a survey to capture the interests of the community; we will use this data to plan some courses for our Life Long Learning Pdigram during this upcoming spring.  I am very excited about this project!  Stay tuned - more information will follow.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

On this Thanksgiving,  I am sitting by a roaring fireplace on Cape Cod.  My family, healthy and happy, are gathered all around, and I am most grateful for this.  Best wishes for a day filled with peace and happiness!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Center School's TV Production

Center Elementary School has a newscast written and produced by students in Mrs. Guggio's class.   This production is tremendous given that elementary students do all of the work.  I see future newscasters and producers when I watch their newscast.  Congrats to Mrs. Guggio, an outstanding teacher, for guiding our students to do such excellent work.  Here is the first production of the year-enjoy!

Friday, September 20, 2013

School Visits and Walk Throughs

September 11, 2013

Dear Longmeadow Community:

School is off to a stellar start as students have settled into their routines and the staff has committed to helping all children learn at high levels.  How do I know this?  I have had the pleasure of visiting every school to observe our learning communities.

This year, the administrative team is conducting "walk throughs", a process where a group of administrators and / or teachers observe classes and then regroup to discuss the instruction observed.  Our goal is for administrators to agree on what excellent teaching looks like,  and to observe the curriculum and instruction shared by a grade level.

Susan Bertran, Kelley Gangi, Donna Hutton, Marie Pratt, Neil Gile and I are currently visiting classes at all of the elementary schools.  To date, we have observed lessons in literacy (reading and writing); we have seen specific classes in writing, reading, word study and more in the  three schools.  We found students engaged as well as reading and writing at various levels. Several teachers offered differentiated instruction.  The visit showed us different lessons in different teacher's styles, and all children were learning.  It is always enlightening to be in classrooms and delightful to observe students actively engaged in education.  It is our plan to visit classrooms in every school in the district by December in order to view instruction and curriculum.  In this way, the team will be more knowledgable when we can give feedback to our teachers to help raise the achievement of all of our students.

Have a great day!

Marie Doyle

Dedication Ceremonies

We are less than a week away from the festivities to dedicate our new building to the Town of Longmeadow.  Several activities have been planned so that community members may come and celebrate the opening of our high school.  Please mark your calendars for the following events.  In addition, please note that the Saturday's Dedication Ceremony has been changed to 1:00 pm so that all everyone may participate in this community event.

Thursday, September 26          6:00 pm           Neighborhood Thank You Dinner
Friday, September, 27             11:45 am          Senior Citizen Thank You Luncheon
Saturday, September 28          10-11:00 am     Facility open for tours and visiting
Saturday, September 28       1:00 pm           Dedication Ceremony 

****(The ceremony is planned to be outside and will be moved inside if there is inclement weather.)

Parking for the handicapped will be close the the front door.

We wish to sincerely thank the community for supporting the project, living through the construction and understanding the importance of having a 21st century high school.  We thank each and every adult for their commitment to our schools and education.  Longmeadow is a prodigious Town for so many reasons, and this is just one of many examples.  We send our thanks to you.

More information about the Dedication Ceremonies may be found on our website at:

Please call Dianne Georgatas at 565-4200, ex. 4012 to sign up for the various events.