By Melanie Petrucci, Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – The Senior Friends Crew, which is part of Student Voice (Student Council) at Sherwood Middle School in Shrewsbury, hosted their annual His Story/ Her Story Day June 12. Community members were invited to come and speak to the schools’ fifth- and sixth-grade homerooms as part of their community outreach initiative.
About 40 visitors shared stories about what it was like when they were young and how their childhood experiences influenced their career choices.
“Our Senior Friends Crew throughout the course of the year has reached out in a multitude of ways to our senior community members,” said School Principal Dr. Jane Lizotte. “I just want to thank all of you for supporting us in this endeavor.”
Senior Friends Crew members greeted the speakers with a reception of coffee and treats before they went to their assigned homerooms.
Fifth-grader Will Prince’s grandfather, Richard Prince, was his class speaker. He grew up in Shrewsbury, went to Coolidge School, and was in the last graduating class of the old Beal High School in 1958. He recently celebrated his 60th reunion.
Prince is a Korean War veteran, spent his career in managing manufacturing companies and has traveled extensively. He also is an avid woodworker and shared his hobby with Will’s class.
Fellow visitor Michael Haire runs the archives of the Records Management Office for the Trial Court of Massachusetts and showed the students the original will and testament of General Artemas Ward.
Former Paton Elementary School Principal Gail Bisceglia spoke to Karen Gutekanst’s class about her time at the old Ward School while Henry Grampietro was next-door telling stories about his youth living in a time where everyone smoked and students could get spanked by their teachers. He wrote a book about growing up in the ‘50s, “Dad’s at Work and Mom Can’t Drive,” that he shared with the students.
“I moved to Shrewsbury in 1964 in the fifth grade and I’m talking to the fifth-graders today about what it was like in 1964 without cell phones,” said Navy veteran Robert Holland. “We had party lines and regular phones. We had no cable or color TV, so we had to figure out what to do for entertainment.”
He added that he was one of the first kids to attend the old Sherwood Junior High School, when the town had only about 13,000 residents.
Nancy Hughes, also retired from the military, shared her story about her 30 years in the U.S. Army, how she had to relocate 14 times, and has lived in many parts of the world. She is now a grandmother who is very active in causes in Shrewsbury and beyond.