Thank You, Mr. D
Many people in the city of Revere know me by my name, Benjamin DiGiulio. Many more also know me as “Mr. D’s son”! As a student at the Whelan Elementary School, I would have my dad as a teacher every Tuesday. The favorite part of my week (and I’m sure most Revere kids’ weeks) was seeing Mr. D rolling his TV/VCR combo into the classroom, with McGruff the Crime Dog riding shotgun.
To this day, it is rare to go out anywhere in the city with Dad and NOT hear, “Hey, Mr. D!” When I was younger, it was as if he was a superhero. I understand most kids think that their dad was a superhero, but my dad was different. “Mr. D” was Super Man. By the time I got to high school, I was very much used to stopping multiple times in the super market while my dad greeted a friend, co-worker, current (or former) student, etc. I always thought it was funny watching him explain to parents that didn’t know who we was, why their elementary school child was running up to him to say “hi”. Now, ten years since my last class with Mr. D, I truly realize how influential, and more importantly, how impactful he was on so many people’s lives. The one consistent over the years was, good day or bad, if a student of his spotted him outside of the class room and wanted to say hi, he would always greet them with a smile and high five, and if you were lucky, you might’ve caught a classic Mr. D quip as well.
After 43 years as a teacher/coach, the “Mr. D” era is sadly coming to an end. It is with a heavy heart that I think about the incoming Kindergarten classes across the city that will be the first in decades to not grow up with Mr. D. The topics on which he taught were controversial, his classes strayed from a “normal” curriculum, he was sometimes brash, sometimes loud, but his classes were legendary, his lessons were long-lasting, and I’m willing to bet that most of his former students would tell you the same.
Author Michael Morpurgo once wrote, “It’s the teacher that makes the difference, not the classroom.” The difference that Mr. D made, in and out of the classroom, was beyond significant. With the Power of KNOW, he dedicated his life to help ensure the health, safety, and happiness of every one of his students. The significance of having a teacher that cares as much about their students and their students’ education, as Mr. D did, is invaluable. As a former student of yours, and on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of students who were as fortunate as I to have you as a teacher, thank you Mr. D; and as your son, on behalf of Emily and I, thank you Dad.
Firefighting Memorial a testament to brotherhood
On June 11, the Revere Fire Department held it’s 69th annual memorial service. This event is held on the second Sunday in June at the Point of Pines fire station. On this day, fire, state and city officials honor the memory of departed members. As firefighters we have a tremendous respect for the men and women who do this job and we carry the traditions from those who came before us with great pride.
This year was a little special but first some background. In 1935 the memorial exercise was held at the grave of Captain Clarence Borden who lost his life fighting the Nautical Garden fire in 1918. The first service held at the Point of Pines fire station was June 7, 1948 when the stone monument with bronze plaque was unveiled, the stone was quarried from Rowe’s gravel pit in Revere. It served for many years. Lieutenant Anthony Pesce took great pride organizing the service for many years. In 2001 then Chief Gene Doherty headed a project to upgrade the memorial. The granite wall was purchased and the names of our departed members inscribed. The surrounding area was also upgraded but did not stand up to the test of time.
In 2017 the executive board of RFD Local 926 felt it was time to upgrade the site. After presenting the idea to Chief Christopher Bright who enthusiastically supported it; the next step was to present it to the membership who voted in full support of the idea. The results are what you see today, black stone bordering the granite wall with lighting that illuminates at night, a walkway of granite pavers that surround a beautiful maltese cross cut from red bricks with black accents. Bordering the project are six black granite reflecting benches.
Please come down and see the site all are welcome all we ask is that you give it the respect it deserves.
We would be remiss not to give special mention to the following people whom without, this project would not have become a reality.
Chief of the department Christopher Bright President of local 926 Lieutenant Kevin Ohara Secretary / Treasurer Local 926 Captain Robert Fortuna Deputy Chief Sean Manion Deputy Chief Anthony Giampietro Lieutenant Joe Placet Lieutenant Brian Doherty
Martorelli Landscaping Revere
Everett Woodlawn Memorials
RFD Local 926
HAIL AND FAREWELL!
The time has come for me to leave the only professional job that I have ever known in my 65 years.
I have been fortunate in that I have been able to teach and coach in the city that I grew up in and have had a 10 minute commute to work for over 4 decades.
I also have been lucky enough to have, what I consider, to be the best gig in the school system.
I got to be in a different school every day, use my own curriculum, and make my own schedule. I talked about controversial subjects (DRUGS) and wasn’t always popular with parents and administrators, but I held nothing back and alwayshad the best interests of my students in mind.
My political incorrectness landed me in hot water from time to time and I frequently used to push the envelope in regards to how far I’d go to get my point across. After all, with the sensitive nature of the subject matter that I taught, I needed to be 100% honest and straight-forward with the innocent minds that I dealt with. (Mostly students in Grades K-5)
In my time in the Revere Public School system, I worked with six Superintendents. (Billy Hill, Wayne Lague, Rocco Malfitano, Carol Tye, Paul Dakin, and Diane Kelly.)
I’ve coached under 6 athletic directors.( Silvio Cella, Angelo Fantasia, Bob Lospennato, Keith Correia, Shaun Hart, and Frank Shea) and taught under countless principals, directors, and various other administrators.
I thank all of them for the professional freedom that they afforded me!
I estimate (conservatively) that I’ve spoken to and coached well over 100,000 children in 43 years! (as for many years I taught about 1,000 students a week.)
In my career I’ve serviced over 20 Revere school buildings including the Whelan (old and new), Garfield, Paul Revere (old and new), Beachmont, James Hill, McKinley, Henry Waitt, Wolcott, Liberty, Julia Ward Howe, Mary T. Ronan, Max Achenbach, Cassandra Barrows, Theodore Roosevelt, Carl Willard Mabie, Shurtleff, Louis Pasteur, Rumney Marsh Academy, Susan B. Anthony, and Revere High School.
I’ve worked with hundreds of colleagues and made countless friends and acquaintances.
As I finish up my career, I leave with no regrets and I’d like to think that my students’ lives are better because of what they may have learned In my classes.
A common saying today (because of Bill Belichick) is
“Do Your Job!” I can honestly say that I did mine, with pride, just about every day, for 40 years. I rarely missed school exemplified by the fact that I’m leaving with about 400 unused sick days.
Finally, I just want to say thanks once again to all the aforementioned people that I’ve worked with for the respect that they’ve shown me, but most of all I’d like to say thanks to all the students who listened to me over the years. I hope that the information that I imparted to them helps them to live safer, healthier, and most of all, happier lives.
I’ll be around.
Come over and say HI!
THANK YOU PENNY
I love, love your writings about City Paws page. You always emphasize about praise, persistence and patience towards animals. I go and get your news articles on paws. Please keep up the wonderful work, you’re an inspiration to other animal owners. Please write an article on how to keep your pets nice and cool on these hot and humid days. For example, we give our dog Rocky, who is a beagle ice in his water. I noticed a lot of people don’t bring any water with them on these hot days while walking their dogs.
Pets always give back what you give them and much more love imaginable.