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Educator's Name Will Adorn Norwalk School

NORWALK, Conn. – A Norwalk school will be dedicated to the late educator whose work transformed it in a compromise announced Tuesday night at the Board of Education meeting.

“The Center for Global Studies is hereby dedicated to Dr. William Jassey, ” board member Steven Colarossi said, reading a proclamation. “The dedication to Dr. Jassey be noted on the face of Brien McMahon High School in letters of significant size to be readily visible in commeasurant of Dr. Jassey’s contribution to our community.”

From 1964 to 1999, Jassey was the district supervisor of foreign languages and social studies for the Norwalk Public Schools. He died at the age of 81 last May.

It had been proposed that the Center for Global Studies be renamed in Jassey’s honor, but students and school administration opposed the idea. Family members and colleagues said Jassey deserved the recognition.

State Rep. Larry Cafero, R-Norwalk, spoke at Tuesday’s board meeting, urging an appropriate recognition for Jassey. The late educator was best friends with Cafero’s 92-year-old father, who was the principal of a Norwalk middle school for about 30 years.

“If anyone knew him, you would know what an amazing individual he was," Cafero said. “He was kind and warm and gracious and good and decent. He had an energy that is unmatched by anyone.”

Cafero said he served on the Board of Education when the Center for Global Studies was born. “I can tell you with every ounce of conviction that that school would not be there today but for Dr. William Jassey,” he said. “The idea was from him, the fight was from him, the funds he raised, the enthusiasm that he brought to that school. He was an absolutely incredible man.”

Board member Mike Lyons commended what he said is a “reasonable compromise.”

“I think it respects the concerns of people who wanted to maintain the name of the center, which will remain as it is currently named, but also provide a very prominent recognition on the center to the name of the person who founded it,” he said. “I think this is a good solution that shows respect to all of the people who came to talk to us.”

Also announced at the Board of Education meeting:

• Norwalk High School and Brien McMahon High School will hold their graduations on the same day this year because of the delayed beginning of the school year and bad weather.

Norwalk High School students will graduate at 4 p.m. June 15, and Brien McMahon students will graduate at 6:15 p.m.

“That completes 180 school days,” said Tony Daddonna, assistant superintendent. “If we graduated one high school, earlier they would not have completed 180 school days.”

Middle school promotions will take place June 13.

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