Our lifers should be honored with a new Lobby of Legends

Mrs. Dymond

Sydney Lauer, Staff Contributor

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Naugatuck Public Schools have had many influential teachers grace their schools over the last thirty to forty years. These teachers have proven to be hard working and dedicated to leaving a lasting impact on their schools for decades.

Lifers are teachers who have been teaching at their school for over thirty years, hence teaching generations of students. In Naugatuck, lifers should be honored for the time, effort, and dedication they put in to educating our community’s youth. They have not only taught today’s students, but their parents before them, and, in essence, encouraging families to plant roots in the town of Naugatuck.

New at NHS, a Lobby of Legends greets students as they walk into school, honoring past students that have made a large impact after their time at NHS.

Our next step is to honor those teachers who have taught not only those students, but generations of students in the Naugatuck Community.

In order to create a platform that would honor teachers for their decades of hard work, criteria similar to that of the Lobby of Legends must be made in order to make sure recognition is given where it is due. Mr. Robert Acquavia, an educator in resource and NHS graduate, is in charge of the creating and maintaining the Lobby of Legends, provided his insight concerning the project.

“In order to create a platform like the Lobby of Legends, there must be criteria that has to be met. How many years should they be teaching in order to be considered? Will those years all be taught at Naugatuck High School, or can they have years teaching elsewhere?” said Acquavia, discussing the logistics on how making a lobby for lifers would be plausible.

However, creating a place where teachers can be honored is not as simple as it seems. It took Mr. Aquavia a few years to finalize the current Lobby of Legends, interviewing and surveying alumni of differing graduating classes in order to make sure recognition was given to students who went above and beyond after graduating. Creating a team to put together a lobby for lifers in the school system would require a lot of hard work and effort as well, but based on what some Naugy alumni have shared, the efforts would pay off.

Charles Marenghi, Naugatuck resident and educator at Cross Street Intermediate School, shared how teachers in his community growing up have influenced him to become a teacher himself.

“They established traditions that lasted even long after they retired. They made an impact on the lives of children and shaped our future leaders. Three to Four Decades of commitment is an amazing gift to society,” said Marenghi, touching upon how lifers have had an impact on their community.

“Since retirement age for a teacher is 37.5 years, many teachers work for 35 years or more. Working in a school system for that many years means that you are literally impacting thousands of students. During that time they are able to help shape and mold the students of their community- students who then become active members of that very community as adults!” said  Johnna Hunt, a former NPS student and current principal of Hillside Intermediate School.

What we would need to do now is to build a team of current and former NHS students, as well as teachers, in order to collaborate on a way lifers can be honor in recognized on our school community.


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