Brooks & Crowley August 2017

Review Brooks & Crowley

August 2017


439 Washington Street Dedham, MA 02026

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Oh, and I almost forgot the lobsters! Mr. Fitz was a part-time lobsterman, getting up early to go out on the water before coming back in to teach a whole day of school. During the summers, he did it full time, and I don’t think the guy got a lot of sleep! Not only was this a lot of work, but Mr. Fitz was always happy to share his bounty with the students. One time, he showed up on my doorstep unannounced with a bunch of lobster for our family, and I know he did the same thing with many other students. Mr. Fitz passed away a few years ago, long after he had retired from teaching, but his spirit has lived on in those he impacted. As we head into another school year, I hope that there are many students fortunate enough to have great educators like John Fitzgerald, who touched so many lives for the better. –Steve Brooks

At the end of August, the kids head back to school. It happens every year, and it gets me thinking about my own school days. Last year, my law partner, Neil, shared some of his favorite teachers with you in the newsletter. Now, it’s my turn, and I know exactly who I want to talk about: a teacher I had at Medford High School back in the 1980s, John Fitzgerald, better known as “Mr. Fitz.” Mr. Fitz was one of the most down-to- earth teachers I ever had, and everybody liked him. He couldn’t walk down the hall without 50 people saying hi to him, and he was always happy to say hi right back. It didn’t hurt that the guy was a fantastic teacher; you’d want to take a class from him, no matter what it was. Although he taught some of the required biology classes, I also had him for anatomy and physiology classes. Those were more difficult subjects, and it’s

no exaggeration to say that Mr. Fitz was a very bright guy. In less-capable hands, those classes could have been really tough, really boring, or both. But I really don’t remember a boring day in his classroom — just class after class of learning really interesting stuff from a guy with a lot to teach. Mr. Fitz also built solid relationships outside of the classroom. Occasionally, I would spend time with him after school, and I learned that he built close relationships with many of his students, especially with those in my class, the graduating class of 1984. At the end of that year, as we were preparing to graduate, he personally wrote each of us a letter — not a card or quick note, but an actual letter — thanking us for being a part of the best class he’d ever taught. It was wonderful and very heartfelt, just like a lot of the things he did.


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