, Newburyport, MA

November 21, 2013

NEF offers naming opportunities at new Bresnahan

Newburyport Daily News

---- — NEWBURYPORT — The Newburyport Education Foundation (NEF) announced it has kicked off a Naming Recognition Campaign to raise money for the Newburyport Public Schools. The NEF’s campaign offers naming opportunities at the new Bresnahan School as a way to recognize donors for their support.

The Bresnahan School has already been named by the city to honor former Superintendent Francis Bresnahan, but the School Committee has authorized the NEF, in concert with the superintendent, to name rooms at the new school through the NEF “Make Your Mark” program. Over the last 10 years, naming tributes at the high school and middle schools have recognized businesses, alumni, and community members. With the new school opening in fall, 2014, it is the perfect time to do the same at the new school. Funds raised through the naming campaign will fund projects across the district, chosen for their strategic value, to be part of the current NEF campaign.

“We are proud to continue this tradition by giving donors the opportunity for recognition at the new elementary school,” said Jeff Gray, NEF president. “Our recognition program is a great way to honor a loved one or make a permanent tribute and benefit the Newburyport Public Schools at the same time.”

Chase and Lunt Insurance is one of the first donors in this new campaign and donated $15,000 to benefit the Newburyport Public Schools. The gift will be recognized with the naming of the new lobby at the Bresnahan Elementary School.

“Our support of the schools through the NEF is part of our ongoing community involvement, and we are very pleased to contribute to enhancing the learning environment for students,” said Jay Howlett, president, Chase and Lunt Insurance.

“The Newburyport business community has been a vital partner to the schools and their support has made Newburyport a leader not only in school-business partnerships, but also in the formation of a local education foundation,” said Cindy Johnson, NEF board member. “Chase and Lunt’s Jay Howlett was an early board member of what is now the NEF Business Coalition. The Institution for Savings and the Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, founding supporters of the NEF, have been recognized through the program, as has the NAID Foundation, a stalwart supporter of school-business partnerships.”

The robotics lab at the middle school was named for its benefactor, Strem Chemicals Inc., and the Zampell Companies have a science classroom named to recognize their generous support, Johnson added. Gifts from alumni account for several more naming recognitions. The NHS Class of 1953 named the library’s circulation desk for their beloved librarian, Virginia Bilmazes Bernard. The Class of 1938 used their class treasury to benefit their alma mater and named the lobby at the high school. Similarly, the class of 1942 named the office of the Dean of Students and Edmund and Ruth Burke named the Newburyport Room in the NHS main office.

Several community members and educators have also been honored by family and friends by having a room named for them. Most recently, Jonathan and Betsy Woodman celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by honoring local jazz musician and legend Les Harris, Sr., with a gift to the NEF and a permanent plaque outside a music room.

Other honorees include former city councilor Chester W. Hawrylciw (photography lab), former Mayor Edward G. Molin (band room), Thomas Nicholas Pecorelli, NHS ’88, (video production studio), former Assistant Principal Richard Lamothe (library reading area), former NHS teacher Roger Gagnon (English/Social Studies faculty offices), and local engineer John O’Connell (engineering technology lab).

Other donors may choose to honor and remember a family member in the same way. The Ashe family most recently honored grandmother Frances Ashe by naming the Mac lab at the high school. The Skiba family will name a room at the new Bresnahan School, as will proud grandfather and community leader Jack Bradshaw.

In addition to rooms and larger areas, donors may also name an auditorium seat. The Class of 1953 recently completed a campaign to name a seat in the NHS auditorium for each of their classmates. This aspect of the “Make Your Mark” program is being expanded this year to the middle school auditorium. The NEF has announced a one-year campaign to raise $170,000 for the lights, sound equipment, and curtains not included in the city’s renovation of the Molin/Nock. Arts lovers, former students, community members and more may name a seat by making a donation of $100 to the auditorium campaign.

“Make Your Mark” naming opportunities still available at the Bresnahan School include the patio, basketball court, playground areas, conference rooms, computer rooms, classrooms, offices, art rooms, literature closets, and more. Donations can be made by an organization, business, or individuals to name a room and honor a teacher, family member, or alumni class with a lasting tribute. A plaque outside the classroom, office or other area commemorates the tribute.

Naming opportunities range from $2,500 to $100,000. To learn more about the NEF’s current campaigns and the Make Your Mark donor recognition program, please email or visit