MEDWAY — The Medway School Committee is pleased to announce that two community members were recently recognized as the 2022 Memorial Plaque Honorees.
Dawn Rice-Norton and John Foresto were recognized during a ceremony on Thursday, Oct. 20. The event was particularly special this year as chosen honorees were introduced in speeches by Burke-Memorial fourth-graders. The students interviewed the honorees in preparation for the event.
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 Town of Medway life better for those who follow. Nominations are submitted each spring and are voted on by the Medway School Committee each summer.
“Congratulations to Dawn and John for being chosen as this year’s Memorial Plaque honorees,” Burke-Memorial Principal John Kelley said. “They are both pillars in our community and have made countless contributions to Medway residents over the years. These recognitions are extremely well deserved, and we thank them for their service and devotion to our community.”
Rice-Norton was introduced by fourth-grader Julianne DiGiacomo.
“Like myself, Mrs. Rice-Norton is a Medway Girl Scout and enjoys spending her time helping others,” DiGiacomo said in her speech.
Rice-Norton has been a member of the Medway community for more than 40 years and is a graduate of Medway High School. She has served on numerous committees in Medway, including the Gridiron Club, the Medway High School Parent Advisory Committee, the Medway Open Space Committee and the Medway School Committee.
She has also been a member of the Medway Lions Club since 2009, and has served in several different leadership roles with the goal of raising money and awareness for people in charitable organizations in Medway and around the world. She was previously awarded the club’s International President’s Medal, which is the second-highest honor available to members of the club.
During her interview, DiGiacomo asked Rice-Norton about her accomplishments and awards. Rice-Norton explained, “I like to do things not for the awards, but for the people I am able to help.”
In her free time, Rice-Norton decorates and donates cakes to children with critical illnesses and their families through the Icing Smiles project.
Foresto was introduced by fourth-grader Bodhi Mathew.
Foresto has served the Medway community in many different roles for over 46 years. He helped establish the youth soccer program in town. He served the Medway Select Board for 15 years in various roles, including chair, vice chair and clerk. While with the Select Board, he was part of several committees that supported projects in town.
“When I interviewed Mr. Foresto, he said that his work with the restoration of the town parks and playgrounds at the schools were some of his favorite projects. He mentioned that he also enjoyed working on increasing public safety and developing different plans for the Medway water system,” Mathew said during her speech.
Foresto has served on the Board of Directors for Medway Cable Access for the past 16 years. As a part of this work, he is collaborating with colleagues to make recordings of town meetings dating back to 1980 available on demand. Foresto has also enjoyed working with students at Medway Middle School and Medway High School.
Mathew also explained that Foresto credits his commitment to public service to his dad, stating that his dad always had a commitment to serve and to always help others.
Foresto is a Vietnam War veteran. He is also the father to two Medway High School graduates.