Per­ryville Mid­dle ded­i­cates me­mo­rial to beloved teacher

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JA­COB OWENS

jowens@ce­cil­whig.com

— Mon­day was a bit­ter­sweet for Shawn Lupoli.

With the Bal­ti­more Ori­oles tak­ing the field on the Open­ing Day of base­ball, it was a pas­time that was revered by his fa­ther, Larry.

For decades, his fa­ther, a long­time tech­nol­ogy teacher at Per­ryville Mid­dle School, had or­ga­nized trips for the com­mu­nity to at­tend an Ori­oles game and share in the joy of tak­ing in a ball­game. The el­der Lupoli was so well known

PER­RYVILLE

for his black-and-or­ange pas­sion, that it didn’t seem right for Open­ing Day to pass by his for­mer Per­ryville Mid­dle col­leagues with­out do­ing some­thing to re­mem­ber the man who left a last­ing im­pact on gen­er­a­tions of stu­dents.

Larry Lupoli passed away in Oc­to­ber at the age of 63, just two years af­ter re­tir­ing from his sec­ond home at Per­ryville Mid­dle, where he had spent his en­tire 35year teach­ing ca­reer.

So on Mon­day, the staff and stu­dents re­mem­bered their friend by ded­i­cat­ing a me­mo­rial tree to the “Un- for­get­table Larry Lupoli” near the school’s en­trance. And they did so with all of the rev­elry that Open­ing Day had. The school band and cho­rus per­formed “Take Me Out to the Ball­game,” all wore Ori­oles jer­seys and at­tire, and Shawn Lupoli and Holly Span­gler, Per­ryville Mid­dle as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal, shared mem­o­ries of the late Lupoli.

“I didn’t just lose a fa­ther, I lost a men­tor,” a chokedup Shawn Lupoli said. “I’ve been teach­ing now for 15

years. He was in this build­ing for 35 years and so was I.”

While he still grieves the loss of his fa­ther, Shawn Lupoli said his fa­ther’s clos­est friends, many of whom also worked at Per­ryville Mid­dle School, have helped com­fort him. He said that he was thank­ful for the honor be­stowed upon his fam­ily by the school.

Per­ryville Mid­dle lead sec­re­tary Wendy Bryant, who helped or­ga­nize many of the late Lupoli’s com­mu­nity trips to Ori­oles games, said the idea to memo­ri­al­ize his mem­ory came quickly af­ter his pass­ing. Af­ter word spread of the me­mo­rial tree, many staff mem­bers and stu­dents at the school vol­un­teered to help with a ded­i­ca­tion cer­e­mony for his fam­ily.

Spanl­ger, who worked with Lupoli for seven years be­fore his re­tire­ment, said that Lupoli be­came an in­sti­tu­tion of sorts for Per­ryville-area stu­dents.

“He was such a big part of the com­mu­nity for so long that we have a lot of par­ents who had him as a teacher,” she said. “He out­lasted so many dif­fer­ent prin­ci­pals and as­sis­tant prin­ci­pals.”

Bryant said she re­mem­bers her friend for his en­thu­si­asm, re­call­ing how if a stu­dent was in­ter­ested in at­tend­ing the night­time Ori­oles game but couldn’t get parental per­mis­sion, he would call a par­ent him­self to dis­cuss any wor­ries or de­fray the costs.

“He al­ways wanted to take as many stu­dents as he could to the ball­games,” she said. “He just en­joyed show­ing them that there was more than school.”

Span­gler said that shar­ing his pas­sions in life, whether it was base­ball, Penn State, bowl­ing, rais- ing chick­ens or more, was his big­gest les­son to stu­dents.

“‘Find­ing some­thing that you en­joy in life.’ That was his mes­sage,” she said. “You don’t have to be the smartest kid in class or build the best project, but you should find some­thing you’re pas­sion­ate about, work on that, take it with you and en­joy that in life.”

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY JA­COB OWENS

Per­ryville Mid­dle School staff sur­round Shawn Lupoli (right of tree, white jersey) and a me­mo­rial tree ded­i­cated to his fa­ther, Larry, who was a long­time teacher at the school be­fore his pass­ing in Oc­to­ber.

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