UPDATE: Former Concord High principal Gene Connolly dies after quarrel with ALS
August 20, 2018 - als
Gene Connolly, Concord High School’s immensely renouned principal who became a pitch of stability and bravery by his conflict with ALS, died Sunday morning, propagandize officials confirmed. He was 62.
Connolly was diagnosed in 2014 with amyotrophic parallel sclerosis, a progressive, always-fatal neurodegenerative disease, nonetheless he remained in his care position during a propagandize until his retirement in 2016.
Connolly, who in his final year during a propagandize communicated by a computerized device, never mislaid his tie to staff and students. He confirmed his tradition of nod them each morning as they arrived during school, even on a days when he indispensable to navigate a icy walkways in his wheelchair.
With preparation during his core, it came as no warn that Connolly’s dual children – Jim Connolly and Ally Davis – both followed training careers. Davis teaches during Christa McAuliffe School in Concord, Jim Connolly during Winnacunnet High School in Hampton.
And while Gene Connolly will perpetually be remembered as a purpose indication for a demeanour in that he conducted himself, both before and after his diagnosis, his son wouldn’t go there, relaying a kind of tact that his father would have appreciated.
“He would not have noticed himself as a good man,” Jim Connolly pronounced in a brief write pronounce Sunday night. “He would have noticed himself as a operative male and someone who was good during his job, and that was removing to know students and people.”
The village rallied around Connolly after his illness was disclosed, with “Connolly Tough” fundraisers, a new origination of a specialty qualification brew and a fixing of a press box during Memorial Field.
Connolly; his wife, Patty; and their children also non-stop their lives in his final years to both a Concord Monitor and to local filmmaker Dan Habib. The stories and Habib’s nationally expelled film, patrician Mr. Connolly has ALS, documented a hurdles a family faced, as good as a impulse Connolly gave to students, colleagues and friends.
Habib, reached by phone on vacation in upstate New York, pronounced he felt a special tie with Connolly since Habib’s son, Samuel, was innate with intelligent palsy and uses a wheelchair and a mechanism to communicate.
“It was such a absolute story in my possess backyard,” pronounced Habib, who lives in Concord. “My son uses a communication device, and he was vocalization to his principal and both were articulate by computers, and that was absolute for me.”
Habib, aware of Connolly’s loyalty to preparation and realizing he wasn’t one to pull courtesy to himself, approached Connolly with an thought for a documentary that would revolve around a students, display their reactions and coping mechanisms as news of their principal’s illness shot by a community.
“He’s such a student-driven principal,” Habib said. “I approached him with a thought that this would be student-focused, and as shortly as we told him it would be students seeking a questions, he was all in.”
Elsewhere, Derek Thomson and his brother, Dylan, had a special bond with their principal, as a span rode bicycles opposite a country, from San Francisco to Seabrook, in 50 days to lift income for a Connolly family.
They lifted about $30,000, pronounced Derek Thomson, who graduated in 2012. The brothers faced breeze while roving ascending in a Rockies, and both suffered from giardia, a oppressive abdominal infection that causes vomiting.
“We were meditative of Mr. Connolly and how tough it was for him to go by life and his good attitude,” Thomson said. “He only powered by it, so we only kept going.”
Thomson, a veteran videographer during St. Paul’s School, pronounced Connolly had a outrageous impact on his life and career, always display certainty in him and going above and over to assistance him follow his dream.
“Mr. Connolly had always pushed me to be a chairman we unequivocally wanted to be,” Thomson said. “I was unequivocally into video in Concord High, and he would concede me to go adult on tip of roofs and do crazy things that we wanted to do and he never pronounced no.”
After high school, a principal continued to guard a student, and in fact stepped in when Thomson indispensable him most.
“He wrote countless recommendations,” Thomson said. “He called Emerson (College, Boston) and asked if he could come down to pronounce to a boss of a propagandize to contend how most he enjoyed carrying me in high school.
“There was a celebrity about him where he would do anything for anyone he believed in,” Thomson continued, “and that translated into how we lived my life.”
Terri Forsten is a superintendent of a Concord School District. Her son, Erik, was a beginner during Connolly’s final year during Concord High.
In an email to a Monitor, Forsten said, “(Erik) saw Principal Connolly operative to concentration on training and learning, to foster a clever high propagandize village and to hail everybody each day – all of that in a midst of meaningful that his time would be comparatively short. Erik only told me how most he dignified Principal Connolly for being during assent with his diagnosis.”
That’s what seemed to strike a village a hardest – a beauty and grace Connolly showed in a face of an awful illness, infrequently called Lou Gehrig’s Disease since it gained courtesy after murdering a ball luminary in 1941 during a age of 37.
Habib remarkable that even as Connolly began negligence down, no longer means to pronounce or walk, he focused on tellurian connectors and a tellurian suggestion some-more than anything else.
“He had a large house in a vital room and he’d indicate to a heart on that house to tell (people) he desired them,” Habib said. “Gene became a purpose indication for many for display courage, that he did, yet he would wish a concentration to be that he showed we can live a full life with a disability, and we can live it proudly and publicly even yet we are exceedingly disabled.”
Habib’s film was promote on PBS in 2017 and took about 1½ years to finish. It will be shown for giveaway after this month on a special YouTube channel.
Jim Connolly pronounced he hopes a final summary will gleam by in film and journal articles.
“I wish to stress this from a family,” he said. “Thank you.”
(Ray Duckler can be reached during 369-3304, email@example.com or on Twitter @rayduckler.)