Eaves Reaches New Heights: Revere High Graduate Receives Her Master’s Degree From U-Tampa

Jillian Eaves, daughter of Dr. William “Billy” Eaves and Jane Page of Revere, received her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Tampa during commencement ceremonies held May 4.

 The Honor of Delivering the Student Address

The graduation program capped a memorable weekend of events for the Eaves contingent, who listened proudly as Jillian delivered the prestigious student address at the hooding ceremony.

Jillian Eaves, proud recipient
of a Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Tampa.

A 2019 graduate of Revere High School, Jillian also holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Tampa. In her speech, Jillian told her fellow graduates, “We are now part of the 13 percent of Americans who have master’s degrees. Congratulations and thank you to my colleagues in the curriculum and instruction program. To our professors, thank you for the care, guidance, and encouragement throughout the pursuit of earning our master’s degrees.”

An elementary school teacher in the Tampa area, Jillian Eaves spoke earnestly of the profession that she has chosen for her career.

“One of the first things that they tell you when you enter the education field is that you are in it for the outcome, not the income, because we are not seen as a rich profession,” said Eaves. “However, I’m of the belief that we are part of the richest career paths. We are rich in community. Our classes allow us to use our position as the center. We discuss the communities and cultures where we work implementing plans to better the lives and education of our students in our classrooms.”

“It was a very nice weekend,” Dr. William Eaves stated humbly, summing up the pridefulness that the family felt as Jillian attained an important milestone in her career and was accorded the honor of formally addressing her classmates.

Credits the Revere Schools

Jillian Eaves said the Revere schools offered numerous academic and extracurricular opportunities throughout her years in the school district. Eaves participated in sports and was the captain and the only female athlete on the Revere High golf team coached by Brandon Pizzuto. In fact, Jillian said Mr. Pizzuto and his brother, Jason Pizzuto (whose father, Jay Pizzuto, was Dr. Eaves’ classmate at Chelsea High), were such a positive influence as teachers and coaches that it inspired her to consider a future career in education. Interestingly, Jillian quotes in her own classroom one of her former RHS teachers, Joe Ciccarello, who said, “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen twice as much as we talk.”

 Praise from Mentors and Friends

Dr. Dianne Kelly, superintendent of Revere schools, said she was excited about Jillian’s success while offering her personal congratulations to the RHS alumna.

“We are always excited when we hear about our former students becoming teachers,” said Dr. Kelly.  “We are very fortunate to have many graduates cite their time in Revere Public Schools as being critical to their success in college and beyond.  Almost always, they talk about specific teachers who ignited a spark for them.  We wish Jillian all the best in what promises to be a challenging, but also very rewarding career.”

Revere High classmate and friend, Taylor Giuffre-Catalano, communications associate for Mayor Patrick Keefe’s Administration, also offered her congratulations, stating, “Jill has been a lifelong friend. It’s such a pleasure to watch her success on this level. Whenever I see an activity or lesson she’s put together for her class, I always wish I had a teacher like her. Her work is bursting with creativity and excitement, and it’s always so well thought out. Receiving a Master’s degree is the icing on the cake of her true calling. Jill worked incredibly hard to get to this level, and I’m so proud of her.”

Strong Roots in Revere and Chelsea

 Jillian, 23, is the granddaughter of Edward Page of Revere and the late Ernestine Fallon Page (whose brother, Joe Fallon, was a Chelsea Police officer for many years), and the late Irma Eaves and Thomas Eaves Sr., who served with distinction in the Chelsea Fire Department for 33 years. Jillian has an older brother, Christian, who played hockey at Revere High and graduated from Salem State University in 2018.

Jillian’s mother, Jane Page, was a 1979 graduate of Revere High School where she was a member of the cheerleading team. She has enjoyed a successful career as a licensed aesthetician.

Jillian’s father, Dr. William Eaves, is a 1976 graduate of Chelsea High where he excelled in academics and athletics. “Billy,” as he was known by his many Chelsea admirers and friends, went on to receive degrees from Boston College and Boston University Dental School. He currently has his own dental practice in South Boston and is the director of the dental program at the Lynn Community Health Center.

A Special Meeting with Alex Riseman

During the weekend, the Eaves family met over breakfast with University of Tampa trustee and major donor Benson “Alex” Riseman, who like Dr. Eaves, grew up on Chester Avenue, was a standout athlete from youth sports through high school, and graduated from Chelsea High. Alex played college baseball at his alma mater, the University of Tampa.

“Alex is a very humble guy,” said Dr. Eaves. “He was very nice. We talked about our Chester Avenue roots and our neighbors. I would say about Alex, ‘You can take the kid out of Chelsea, but you can’t take the Chelsea out of the kid.’ All his success hasn’t changed him. I admire that.”

The fitness center on the campus of UTampa is named the Benson Alex Riseman Fitness and Recreation Center.

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