School names library in memory of dedicated educator
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Hudson – While serving as principal from 1980 through 2000, James Boyd left his mark on Farley Elementary School. Daily classes were still conducted as he oversaw a renovation throughout the building including the library. Now, the library is named in his memory.
Family members, friends and school officials remembered his contributions as an administrator in the district for 30 years at a ceremony Nov. 7. He died in August 2012 at age 72 after battling pulmonary fibrosis.
Among the speakers at the ceremony was third-grade teacher Bob Yates, who noted that his career in education began with Boyd as principal.
“In this profession, you always remember your first principal, the one who truly believed in you at the beginning of your career,” he said. “For me, I’m proud to say that person was James Boyd. And tonight I’m so thrilled that we can finally name a piece of Farley in his honor.”
Expressing the individualized attention Boyd consistently gave to everyone everywhere around the school, Yates described him as “the ultimate wanderer.”
“Jim was never in his office,” he said. “Instead, he made a point to touch base with teachers and students on a daily basis.”
Yates added that he strives to follow Boyd’s “gentle words of wisdom” regarding a career in education: “Connect with colleagues” and “enjoy every student.”
In closing, he said to the Boyd family, “Thanks for sharing Jim with us.”
Among Boyd’s family members in attendance were his wife, Valerie; son, Jim; and daughters, Debbie Boisvert and Patty Cariveau. Boisvert fondly remembers the reciprocal kindness exchanged between her father and the students, especially each Feb. 14.
“My dad’s birthday happens to be on Valentine’s Day,” she said. “Each year, almost every child in the school gave the principal a valentine because it was his birthday. He’d come home with a giant shopping bag full of valentines. He sat and read every single one of them because he knew their well-wishes were heartfelt.”
Boisvert observed that same enthusiastic response from her father toward her and her siblings.
“He never missed a single one of our events,” she said. “He went to every baseball and hockey game, track meet, dance recital, band concert, and play. And that continued with his grandchildren also.”
She feels the naming of the library in memory of her father is a fitting tribute.
“Everyone in the family is an avid reader,” she said. “He read with us every single night when we were little. He really fostered that in us and in our children.”
When Boyd retired in 2000, George Calnan moved from Forest Avenue School as principal to that position at Farley School through 2007.
“We were both principals of elementary schools, so we worked together a lot,” Calnan said. “Jim’s feeling was there was no such thing as a bad kid. He recognized there are kids who face more challenges than others, but it was our job as principal to recognize that and help these kids work through them.”
Boyd introduced an annual Holiday Fair in conjunction with the Home and School Association, which Calnan continued when he was principal
“It wasn’t a fundraiser; they sold inexpensive items to the kids so that they could surprise parents and others with gifts on the holidays,” Calnan explained. “After Jim retired, he still came back to the fair and helped kids wrap their presents. That’s the kind of memory that kids never forget.”
A plaque at the entrance of the James Boyd Memorial Library reads in part: “His efforts demonstrated the highest level of dedication and loyalty achieved by an educator.”
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