PRESS RELEASE – For Immediate Release
November 5, 2018
Mr. William J. Dean, Sr. Recognized for Over a Half Century of Service to Holyoke Public Schools
Holyoke, Massachusetts – In recognition of over fifty years of service to the Holyoke Public Schools, Mr. William J. Dean, Sr. was celebrated at a plaque unveiling ceremony on November 2, 2018.
“It is a privilege to celebrate the leadership of William Dean by unveiling a new plaque in his honor,” stated Dr. Stephen Zrike, Jr., Superintendent/ Receiver of Holyoke Public Schools. “He was a pioneer in the area of career and technical education and introduced the first breakfast program in the state.”
Family, friends, educators and city officials gathered at 6 PM at the Holyoke High School Dean Campus (1045 Main Street, Holyoke, MA) to witness the plaque unveiling and honor Mr. Dean’s legacy as a lifelong educator, who was committed to the youth of Holyoke. Attendees enjoyed light refreshments, including hors-d’oeuvres prepared by students in the school’s Culinary Arts program. Zrike, provided opening remarks and introductions; Mayor Alex Morse issued a Proclamation in recognition of Mr. Dean’s service; and School Committee Vice Chair Mr. Devin Sheehan, Executive Principal of Holyoke High School North and Dean Campuses Dr. Stephen Mahoney, and Mr. Dean’s granddaughter Patricia Dean Hall followed with remarks.
During the ceremony, Hall stressed that her grandfather’s, “focus was to develop well-rounded students that could enter the workforce with a marketable skill and have the confidence and social skills to get along with others in the workplace… Essential forms of general education such as English, history, civics and mathematics were of great value in developing workers and citizens who could express ideas clearly, understand history as a foundation for forming one’s opinions and judgments, as well as understand the responsibility of each member of a community to every other member of the community.”
The spectacular, bronze tablet highlights Mr. Dean’s more than fifty years of service as an exemplary educator, dedicated leader, and outstanding citizen of Holyoke who gave unsparingly of his time and energy in promoting pathways to careers for Holyoke students through vocational education. The tablet weighs 200 pounds and is 30” wide and 48” tall. Mounted in the school’s hallway near the building’s main entrance, it is surrounded by nine plaques provided by the Dean family that also highlight some of Mr. Dean’s noteworthy achievements. As stated by Hall, the display serves as a reminder to students, “that ordinary people can indeed do extraordinary things and that education is the foundation of a good life.”
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