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Letter: Mr. C’s legacy

I am writing in response to Chris Shores’ May 3 piece on the retirement Greenfield High School’s music director, Paul Calcari. I would like to share my thoughts on Mr. C., as one of his former students.

I was bullied incessantly in middle school. It was a terrible time for me. When it was time to move up to the high school, I was terrified of what the future would hold at a new school. I was considering dropping out.

My first day freshman year, I walked into Mr. Calcari’s band room, and everything changed. He welcomed me into his music department family — and that is exactly what it was, a family. His students became my family as well. I made lifelong friends in that department.

The thing that I am reminded of the most after reading the article, looking back over the last 15years since I graduated, is how kind and dedicated Mr. Calcari was to all of us. He pushed us hard, driving us to succeed in ways we didn’t know were possible. He gave us guidance when we weren’t sure how to handle situations.

Mr. Calcari even wrote me the most profound letter of recommendation for college, that to this day reminds me to believe in myself the way he believed in me — in all of us. I am so thankful that I joined the music department and that I became a part of Mr. C’s family. I can honestly say I do not know where I would be now had I not. He inspired me to be a good person, a hard worker and a good mom. I am a better person for knowing him.

MEGAN DULUDE HEALEY

GHS Class of 1997

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