MEDWAY — The Medway School Committee is pleased to announce the 2020 Memorial Plaque Honorees.
The honorees were recognized at a small ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 8.
The Memorial Plaque was placed in Burke-Memorial when it was built in 1997 to honor individuals who have given unselfishly and made a significant or memorable contribution to the town and/or school community. Through service, volunteerism or dedication, the honorees make Medway Schools or the town life better for those who follow. Nominations are submitted each spring and are voted on by the Medway School Committee each summer.
“This year’s honorees have served Medway in many capacities, and this year all honorees have worked in our schools. Collectively, our honorees have worked in every level of education here in Medway,” Burke-Memorial Principal John Kelley said. “Individually our honorees’ dedication to our community is impressive, collectively their contributions to our town define the meaning of service to others. They serve as an example to our students, staff, and our larger community. Congratulations to the 2020 Memorial Plaque Honorees.”
Nancy Thompson is a third grade teacher who has taught in Medway for over 40 years. She has educated countless students, and has done so with integrity and grace. Thompson embedded a curriculum in Burke-Memorial that became ingrained in the school’s culture. Her work on the history of Medway, including the always popular self-developed musical, was something that was celebrated yearly.
Thompson establishes a welcoming community to all students and families yearly. She is dedicated to the learning and success of each one of her students and is described to have always brought out the best in each student regardless of individual academic abilities.
“Before coming to Medway I worked in Boston public schools. When I told one of my principals about moving to Medway Schools, he shared that he grew up in Medway,” Principal Kelley said. “He told me memories about his elementary experience at Burke. He went on to talk about his third grade teacher, Ms. Thompson, and the amazing memories he still carried with him. It’s a Medway welcoming I wish everyone could have. This is an example of Ms. Thompson’s lasting impact on this community, and its long reach, which will provide the best kind of lessons for our community for years to come.”
Nancy Holland has also taught third grade in Medway for over 40 years. She has partnered with Thompson through much of her tenure. Holland is spoken of with high regard as a teacher and person and described to be hardworking, dedicated, patient and caring. Her peers have spoken of her innate maternal instinct with her students, going on to say “every student wanted to be there.” Fellow staff members shared the same sentiments about working in her classroom.
Holland has written, directed and produced the “Marvelous Medway” play. She is described as creative, organized and passionate about her students and the community. While at Burke-Memorial, Holland is described as a trusted colleague people could count on for help and support, and someone who is active in the school community through her participation in committees and clubs.
“Nancy’s influence on the Medway community is still felt in Memorial’s halls,” Principal Kelley said. “It was not hard to find someone to jump at the chance to speak about her high quality work as a teacher and colleague. We are so thankful for this as her influence continues to guide educators today.”
Darlene Doherty Cellucci
Darlene Doherty Cellucci worked in Medway Schools for over 25 years. During her career, Cellucci worked in the elementary, middle and high schools and finished her career in the special education department before retiring in 2019.
In 2014, Darlene was recognized as “Teacher of the Year” by the high school principal. She later transitioned to working with students with social and emotional challenges. This is described as a natural fit for Cellucci who worked closely with her colleagues to support and educate all her students. Many former students and their families credit her efforts as the reason why they graduated high school, college, and found success in life. Cellucci is said to have always been in the students’ corner educating, supporting and advocating.
She joined the Scholarship Committee to ensure special education students would be recognized. When she was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2007, she scheduled her daily treatments after school so she could still be there for her students.
“While these are a few powerful examples of her excellent work and selflessness, it was her quiet and humble day-to-day efforts that were a difference-maker for so many of her students,” Principal Kelley said. “It’s a passion and dedication that would never be expected to be replicated, but without question should be honored.”
Thompson, Holland and Cellucci now join the 70 other individuals whose names appear on the Memorial Plaque and whose dedication to the Medway school community have made a special and long-lasting impact on Medway’s children.