MILLBURY -- On Thursday, June 2, the Raymond E. Shaw Elementary School hosted one last tour of the original building that was opened in 1975. Retirees of the school were invited for a morning of coffee, treats, camaraderie and shared memories. These special guests were also given a virtual tour of the new school building.
Fourth-grade “Student Ambassadors” ensured that Shaw’s retirees were given the royal treatment. They escorted them on tours of the building and made sure that all questions were answered.
Twenty Shaw School retirees attended the festivities. Beth Zersky was one of the original English teachers when the Raymond E. Shaw Middle School (grades 6-8) opened in 1975. Mrs. Zersky was delighted to return to her old school for one last look, stating that the “event was a fitting and sentimental send-off.” Mrs. Zersky reminisced that Shaw was originally designed to provide Millbury children with a student-centered environment. The library was the hub of the school, and the school supported the team-teaching approach with appointed team leaders. This was the expected educational standard in 1975. This effective approach to learning is still practiced today.
Robert Dufault, who taught in Millbury from 1978 to 2012, spent part of his teaching career at the Shaw School. He said, “It is sometimes said that you can’t go home again. But for a brief moment, I was back 'home' in the place where my teaching career began. This wonderful event provided a glance back at the Shaw School that I fondly remember.”
The visitors also viewed the contents of the time capsule that was unearthed the previous day. This capsule was buried in the courtyard in 2000, to celebrate the turn of the century. The contents of this container were revealed 22 years later.
Veteran teachers Julie Hayes, Michael Tarka and Anna Vaillancourt, with Shaw Principal Andrew Tuccio, Curriculum Coordinator Lizz Boutiette, Superintendent Greg Myers, Custodians David Haak and Pam Higginbottom, and a sixth-grade class, were present and assisted at this event.
There will be another open house at the school, open to the public, on June 11 from 10 a.m.-noon.
The original Shaw School will soon be demolished and replaced by a new, state-of-the-art educational institution, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2022. So, as we bid farewell to the original Raymond E. Shaw School, we remain content with our memories. Even though the building will be gone, the good times and friendships that were made, will never be forgotten.
Once a Woolie…always a Woolie!