Xaverian Brothers High School
Whether he was known to a student as Herr Lewis, Señor Lewis, or Mr. Lewis, few have passed through Xaverian Brothers High School in almost 50 years and not known and loved Jim Lewis. Jim was hired as a mathematics and German teacher in the 1973-1974 school year by Brother William Drinan. World languages ultimately won out and he spent his career teaching thousands of young men to speak German and Spanish. Reflecting on his long tenure, he says:
I have been here for 48 years. I decided to stay for my entire career because I believe that XBHS is one of the finest schools in the entire Northeast. I found the work and mission of our school very meaningful, and I cherished the opportunity to be able to incorporate my faith life into my professional calling. One year led to the next, and here I am as a 70-year-old man ready to move on to the next chapter of my life in retirement.
Over the last five decades, Jim has served as a teacher, department chair (12 years), coach (Alpine Ski), chaperone, bus driver, moderator, and most recently, as the unofficial chief preserver of the history of the Xaverian Brothers at the school. He has done yeoman’s work to capture the stories of these Brothers in order to hand them down as part of the school’s collective history, ensuring that the Brothers’ legacy lives on into the future.
For Paula Duddy, Xaverian Brothers High School is more than a career or a calling, it’s her family. Paula became familiar with the school through her husband, the famed Charlie Duddy, Jr., who was serving as a physics teacher and science department chair in the 1980s. When an art teacher position became available in 1986, she applied and was hired by Brother Richard Cook. For more than three decades, Paula has been the driving force behind the fine arts curriculum at Xaverian. Under her leadership, what was an arts department of one has become a talented team of teachers, offering a robust menu of both curricular and extracurricular opportunities. “When I look back to my early years at Xaverian, I was always impressed with the community that the brothers had formed,” she said. “All of the brothers were so welcoming and supportive. During my tenure I have been equally impressed with the dedication of the lay men and women who have shared their Xaverian ministry with the zeal and humility that has become part of the Xaverian tradition.” Paula’s service at Xaverian extended far beyond the classroom. She formed the Art Club and the National Art Honor Society, served as artistic director for the school’s literary magazine, was the producer for theatrical productions, assembled a liturgical music group, and served as department chair for an incredible span—32 years! Additionally, she traveled as a chaperone five times for campus ministry’s Xaverian Pilgrimage to Italy (XPI). Of her legacy at Xaverian, Paula says, “I hope that I will be remembered as a worker among workers, each of whom was striving in his/her own way to provide a safe and bountiful educational experience for our students.”
Donna O’Connor began her role at Xaverian as a volunteer in 1997 while her son was a student. She took volunteering to a new level, coming in on a weekly basis to assist in the advancement office, coordinating the raffle drive, and lending a hand on special events. Since 2002, she has officially served as an integral member of the advancement team in a variety of capacities, most recently as the Special Projects Manager. However, no title can adequately capture Donna’s role at Xaverian. For nearly 20 years, she has served as the keeper of the details for the school community, from cataloging news for 10,000+ alumni to ensuring that special events are decorated to the nines, to mapping out the meetings and events calendar for the year, and even catering. She took her love for all things culinary into the student community as founder and moderator of the Cooking Club.
Saint John’s High School
Carol joined the Saint John’s High School community in 1985 and for 36 years has graced the classrooms, hallways, faculty room, school kitchen, and the mock trial court with great ability, passion, and enthusiasm for her work, her students, and her community. She has made a lasting impression on thousands of alumni and was honored with the Ryken Award for her many contributions to our Xaverian and Catholic mission and identity. Carol praises the camaraderie, enthusiasm for education, and dedication shared by the Saint John’s faculty. She is also inspired by the enthusiasm and curiosity that students bring to the classroom and their energy for exploring outside interests. A Saint John’s education isn’t restricted to school hours as Carol is the dedicated Faculty Moderator for the Mock Trial Club. She spent countless hours devoted to preparing the team for this intense competition sponsored by the Massachusetts Bar Association.
Fred left Norton Company/Saint Gobain for SJ in the fall of 1995 to join the school community as a Math/Science teacher. He later transitioned full-time into the Science department in 2000 and then to teaching Integrated Science and Physics. He is very proud of the fact that he taught at all levels at Saint John’s – including level 2 Math and Science, level 1, Honors, and AP. Fred also served as Science Department chair for 4 years in the early 2000s. Fred was involved with the crew program as the novice coach in 2008-09 and served as head coach for three seasons from 2009-12. Fred will retire as the only U.S. Olympic Medal winner to ever serve on the teaching faculty at Saint John’s. A distinction he may hold on to for quite some time. The school community is grateful for Fred’s 26 years of service and the many hats he has worn including parent of Ethan, Saint John’s Class of 2012.
Our Lady of Good Counsel High School
Dr. Eleanor Donaghue has been in the Counseling Department for 32 years. During that time, she has served as Chair of the department, Director of Personal Counseling, Coordinator of the Peer Counseling Program, and moderator of several clubs and activities. Beyond those titles, Dr. Donaghue has been an unwavering advocate for students and source of strength in times of crisis.
Dr. Richard Slocum has served as Director of the Band Program for 40 years and is a former Fine Arts Department Chair. His dedication to his students has inspired countless graduates to a lifelong pursuit of music. His vision for the expansion of the music program led to the growth from one chorus to the 4 ensembles we enjoy today. The addition of the Jazz band and strings ensemble are owed to his desire to provide a variety of musical outlets for students. Dr. Slocum has also been a fixture as director of the pit orchestra each spring for the Theater Company’s musical.
Mr. Richard Burns of the Social Studies Department has completed his 43rd year of service to the Good Counsel community. He has taught generations of GC students AP United States History, AP Government, U.S. History Since 1945, and Russia/China History. He has served as Department Chair, softball coach, Director of Summer School, and moderator of the school newspaper. More meaningfully, he has served as friend and mentor to countless of Falcons over the years.
Mr. Walter Tombini has been a member of the facilities and grounds staff for 32 years. For many, Walter is the quiet embodiment of the Xaverian values of humility and compassion. Whether in his capacity as an assistant soccer coach, in his professional role, or as simply a friend, Walter has embraced the Xaverian emphasis on forming enduring personal relationships and has always been willing to go above and beyond for any member of the Good Counsel community in need. Walter approached his responsibilities and every single person with whom he interacted as a ministry not simply as a job. He has been an unfailingly joyful presence and example of the best of our shared mission.
Mount Saint Joseph High School
Since 1990, Mr. Cunningham has been a faithful member of Mount Saint Joseph’s custodial staff. He always takes pride in making sure that the Mount is an attractive and safe place for students and everyone who walks onto campus. For many years, Mr. Cunnigham has driven athletes to practices and competitions as well as transporting students to the overnight Junior Retreat. His warmth and smile remind all who see him of his concern for others and the very Xaverian dispositions of hospitality and service.
Mrs. Doherty has selflessly guided and supported freshmen as they transition into high school students in her computer science classes. For years and for countless hours she supported the hockey program, tending to the needs of players, coaches and parents and celebrating their championships. In the spirit of St. Francis Xavier, her leadership, determination, and creativity have built a bridge from East to West in support of the Chinese exchange students who were educated at the Mount as part of the school’s Xavier program. Mrs. Doherty received the Ryken Award in 2018.
Mr. Peightel is a 1978 graduate of the Mount. He has worked in the school’s development office and has coached baseball and other sports for years. He is best known, however, for his love of writing and the creative means in which he has instructed students in English classes for over 30 years. Mr. Peightel has constantly sought to improve his craft and to develop his students’ intrinsic motivation for reading and thinking. Among his achievements are two innovative learning experiences for students-the Senior Project which gives students the opportunity to explore adult learning or career experiences in their final month of high school, and the Solutions Showcase, which challenges 9th graders to develop an original project designed for a specific audience that reflects 21st century skills which will serve the students beyond their time at MSJ. Mr. Peightel received the Ryken Award in 2009.
Ms. Coyne has served as a theology teacher, retreat leader, coach, and most recently, as the Director of Student Activities and moderator of the Mothers’ Club at Mount Saint Joseph. For years she was involved in the leadership of the XBSS student leader retreat and program, planning the event to help students achieve their goals for expressing the Xaverian charism to their peers. Her constant presence at student events, dances, and games has been a model for the involvement in the life of the school. Ms. Coyne received the Ryken Award in 1999.
Xaverian High School
William Gorman has completed 31 years at Xaverian as a member of the Social Studies Department. A Ryken Award recipient in 2006, Bill is an associate member of the Xaverian Brothers and has served on the Board of Trustees at Nazareth High School. He is the proud father of Xaverian alumni, Brendan ‘04 (who also teaches at Xaverian), William ‘08, and Terrence ’11.
Frank Del George has completed his 33rd year at Xaverian where he has taught Physical Education. Chair of the Health and Physical Education Department since 2015, Frank has served as the Varsity Baseball Head Coach, a position he has held for the past 11 years, during which his teams won city championships in 2014 and 2018.
St. John’s Prep
Peter Richards, who has been a fixture in the lives of Prep students for the past 36 years, is retiring from his position as the Dean of Students and a high school history teacher. Notorious for his particular inflection of the exclamation “Gentlemen!,” his abiding commitment to the students of St. John’s will be missed. “Peter epitomizes servant-leadership,” says Principal Keith Crowley. “He always has the best interest of students in mind whether he is teaching a class or doing his work as Dean of Students. His commitment to the mission of St. John’s Prep and the Charism of the Xaverian Brothers has animated his work for more than three decades here. Peter and his family have been a true blessing to our community.” A native of Lowell, where he has served as a city councilor, Richards has spent a lifetime giving back to the communities he’s touched. A tireless chaperone at a multitude of school events, he has been an enthusiastic participant in the annual Prep Leadership Institute, a week-long summer retreat program for incoming seniors, where students learn effective leadership strategies from alumni and faculty. He led or chaperoned both international and domestic school service trips.
This year’s seniors dedicated the Class of 2021 yearbook to Richards, whose son, Paul, graduated from St. John’s in 2006. In making the dedication, St. John’s senior Dallon Archibald said, “Mr. Richards brought a paternal understanding to his role as Dean, which, combined with his long career in the classroom, allowed him to appreciate the struggles, difficult choices and short-sighted mistakes that teenage boys can often make.”
Brother Phillip John Douglas DiMarchi, who entered the Xaverian congregation in 1966, is an Atlanta native and was educated at St. Joseph Regional High in NJ before attending Xaverian College (UK), Catholic University (Washington, D.C.), Boston College and Brandeis University from 1967-73. All but one year of his professional teaching career (Malden Catholic High, 1981) that extended from 1973-2021 was spent at the Prep. “Brother Phil DiMarchi made his classes interesting, full of humor and always centered his teaching on giving his students the very best instruction, and he has done it with such humility,” says Gary Smith, Science Department chair at St. John’s. “He made it look easy, but he arrived at school by 5 am on most days to prepare his lessons. As Brother’s AP Physics and Physics Honors students came to know, ‘wrestling with physics’ really was the best way not only to learn the material, but also to develop their ability to take on the challenges they would face in college. We will all miss his delight in talking about better ways to teach, his passion for cooking and chess, and his amazing talent at wood-working.”
St. Xavier High School
Arnold Drury began his career at St. X in 1976 as a Health and PE teacher. He served as a defensive coach for the football team for 13 years and, at one point, was a driver’s education teacher. Arnold began his current position as Assistant Principal for Students in 2001. He was awarded the Ryken Award in 2011 and was named an honorary alumnus in 2019. Arnold Drury has impacted thousands of students during his career at St. X and he will certainly be missed.
Gary is a 1973 graduate of St. X and returned in 1983 to teach Social Studies at his alma mater. During his career he has taught in the Social Studies, Business, Theology, and Excel departments. Gary coached basketball for five years, baseball for three years and football for one year. He has also led or attended countless retreats through the years. Gary won the Ryken Award in 2010 and the Herman R. Miles Award for Community Service in 2020. He is someone who is always willing to help, no matter what is asked of him. Gary is a wonderful example of the Xaverian tradition in action.
Xavier High School
Joan Tomasiello, Director of Xavier High School Guidance Department, has retired after 24 years of selfless, and I mean selfless dedication. Mrs. Tomasiello’s habitual excellence has been her trademark. In addition to her unparalleled work ethic, her fellow guidance counselors have praised her as caring, tireless, devoted to the students and Catholic education, innovative, loyal, patient, a great teacher, leader, mentor, and role model, a true friend, and a wonderful colleague. She has a genuine care for every person she meets and a gift of making everyone feel included, special, and most importantly, listened to. Part of Joan’s loyalty to Xavier stems from the fact that her husband Jack is a ’72 grad and her two sons Adam and Peter walked the hallways as well. That loyalty also contributed to her generous nature to volunteer on the Xavier Community Life Council, the Cultural Diversity Committee, the Retention and Recruitment Committee, the Academic Council, and Senior Class Moderator.
Congratulations to all the retirees. Thanks for your service to Xaverian schools. Special shout out to fellow Xaverian Brothers Associate Bill Gorman of Xaverian HS who has been the backbone of our program!
I am edified beyond measure by the dedication, perseverance, and love of these Xaverian staff and educators. Fortunately, with the dynamic leadership of our XBSS project, I am confident that many other staff and educators are following in their footsteps to bless future generations with the gift of a Xaverian Brothers’ education.