Dedication of the Beal School - September 24, 2021

Dear Shrewsbury Families, Colleagues, & Community Members,

This morning we had a wonderful dedication ceremony for the new Major Howard W. Beal School.  You can view the beautiful program here, which incorporates elements of special guest Peter H. Reynolds's art and provides the historical background of our school's namesake, Major Beal.  We were very honored to have several dignitaries speak as part of the event, including Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito; Beal Building Committee Chair and Vice Chair of the Board of Selectman John Lebeaux; Executive Director of the Massachusetts School Building Authority Jack McCarthy; Representative Hannah Kane; Senator Michael Moore; and Vice Chair of the School Committee and Beal Building Committee Member Sandra Fryc.  

The ceremony also included important messages from Beal Principal Chris Girardi and Assistant Principal Shelley Hoey, and from our special guest speaker, children's author and illustrator Peter H. Reynolds.  

Best of all was the participation of our students.  Several fourth grade students from Beal served as the program's presenters, and they did a marvelous job introducing our guest speakers and making the formal dedication of the school.  The audience was also treated to two recorded student musical performances: the updated school song Cheer Cheer for 'New' Beal School and Dot Song, which was co-written by Mr. Reynolds, based upon his famous book The Dot.  

We are grateful to everyone who made the creation of this wonderful new school possible, including the citizens of Shrewsbury who advocated for it and who are funding it;  all of our school and municipal elected and appointed leaders; the educators and support staff at Beal; our architects, Lamoureux Pagano Associates | Architects; our project manager, PMA Consultants; and our construction manager, Fontaine Bros., Inc.  We are also very thankful for the generosity of Robert "Chief Joseph" Terkanian, whose donation funded the beautiful mural created by Mr. Reynolds for our new school's lobby.

I think the wording of the formal dedication of captures the essence of the gratitude we feel that our community has provided this incredible resource for our town: 

On this day, Friday, September 24th, 2021, we hereby dedicate our new Major Howard W. Beal School to the current and future Kindergarten, first, second, third and fourth grade students. 

The design of this building promotes inclusion of all students, a connection with the natural world around us, an appreciation of the arts, and a commitment to healthy learning practices. 

We are grateful to learn in a space that will prepare us for whatever the future brings, and we will be ready to meet every obstacle along the way with skill, grace, and a smile.

We also dedicate this building to our committed and loving teachers. 

This is a beautiful building, but the true beauty comes from those within it. We are grateful to our teachers, assistants, and all adults who chose that Beal School and teaching in Shrewsbury is the place where they want to change the world. 

Thank you for being that change for us.

Finally, we dedicate this new school to all members of the Shrewsbury community. 

This school is designed to provide programs to all members of our community during and after school, on weekends, vacations, and throughout the summer. 

Beal School is not just home to those who live in certain neighborhoods. It is a special resource that everyone in Shrewsbury can benefit from. 

Thank you to our community for building this school for all of us.

This was a memorable, historic day for our school district. Thank you, Shrewsbury, for this gift of a new school that will benefit our community's children for many decades to come.


Joe Sawyer
Superintendent of Schools

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