Richard K. Connor, 74, of
Winthrop. Was a middle school teacher
in the Revere Public Schools for 32
years. June 25.
Ann C. Davidson, 85, of
Concord. Was an elementary and
middle school teacher in Concord for
many years. Served as president of the
Concord Teachers Association for 10
years and as a supervisor in the teacher
certification program at Simmons
College. She had also worked in
Williamstown, New Hampshire and
Connecticut. April 12.
Marguerite F. Decker, 93, of
Ludlow. Was a librarian and English
teacher at Chicopee Comprehensive
High School, retiring in 1988. April
Patricia Dolan, 92, of Worcester.
Was an elementary teacher in Auburn
and in the Worcester Public Schools
for 38 years, retiring in 1988. June 9.
Gladys Durant, 75, of Norton.
Was a teacher in the Attleboro Public
Schools for more than 30 years. Served
as treasurer of the Bristol County
Educators Association and remained
active in the MTA after retiring. In
2010, her activism was recognized
with an award from the Retired
Members Committee. June 4.
Everett J. Lahey, 81, of
Framingham. A math teacher in
Florida and Newton for several years,
he served for more than 20 years as
the manager of the Northeast Regional
Office of the MTA. June 24.
Michele A. Oshman, 32, of
Millbury. Was a social studies teacher
at Leominster High School for the past
11 years. April 24.
Gale L. Palmer, 71, of Weymouth.
Was a teacher and women’s basketball
coach at North Quincy High School for
many years. July 1.
Rosemary “Betsy” Sawyer,
60, of Shirley. Taught fifth grade at
Groton-Dunstable Middle School
and was the guiding force behind her
students’ creation of a massive volume
of essays, poetry and artwork on world
peace. April 3.
Jolene L. Tewksbury, 31, of
Lynnfield. Was a fourth-grade teacher
at the Birch Meadow Elementary
School in Reading. July 5.
Andrew J. Tivnan, 85, of
Clinton. Was a secondary school
teacher of chemistry and behavioral
science for 35 years. He was the first
chairman of the Science Department at
Tahanto Regional High School, from
which he retired in 1991. June 20.
Lama, Maya Angelou and Nelson
Ali Sawyer accepted the award
on behalf of her mother, saying her
passion for teaching “led her on a
mission to create a more peaceful
world — for her students and for
students across the globe.”
“Her legacy lives on for every
single person she touched and inspired,”
she said. “It is up to us now to carry on
her message of peace in a world that
needs it so much.”
Bommer, the recipient of the final
Kathleen Roberts Award that was
presented during the evening, started
shortly after he retired to Centerville
more than 20 years ago.
He became a volunteer assistant
teaching math, and his word puzzles
and other math games became his
signature. Over the years, students
and staff learned a lot of math from
Bommer, but they also learned a lot
about history, perseverance and the
value of giving back. Bommer left
the classroom in 2014 and received a
long scroll bearing the names of all the
students he had reached. Two years
later, he decided he missed the students,
so he returned — at age 87 — to
volunteering one day a week.
During the awards banquet, he
unrolled the list, and it stretched across
the ballroom. “I love kids, and doing
something different,” he said.
Also on hand was Dr. David
Nurenberg, an MTA member who
teaches at Concord-Carlisle High
School. Nurenberg uses “The Justice
Project” to help his honors English
students build their skills and
knowledge around an area of social
injustice that they feel has affected them
Nurenberg and five of his students
took a few moments to explain their
projects to the attendees. Working
alone or in groups, the students
researched the many aspects of their
chosen issues and proposed their own
solutions. The point of the project for
Nurenberg was to help the students
with research, argumentation and
presentation — “and then get out of
their way,” he said.
Madeline Franck and Daria
Pietropaolo researched the issue of
child soldiers in Uganda; Deedy
Chang and Liana Shames studied
the experiences of Chinese children
adopted by white American families;
and Benny Thomas brought awareness
to how society constructs racial
categories according to skin color.
To see more photos from the event,
Continued from Page 8
Winners of Human and Civil Rights Awards are honored at banquet
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