People drop in to see School Superintendent James Scully for a variety of reasons. Precious few come bearing gifts.
But those who do are often alumni of Haverhill High School who have become successful and want to give back.
People like Ernie DiBurro, who owns the Academy Lanes Bowling complex in Bradford, have given much over the past several years. They tell Scully they are inspired by changes at the high school, including the renovations of the building and campus grounds, and positive changes in academic offerings such as the Classical and STEM academies.
“He’s given $100,000 for scholarships, $100,000 for the athletic field gate and entrance, $50,000 for an electronic signboard, and more recently $100,000 for the weight room, in addition to smaller amounts that have all benefited the children of Haverhill,” Scully said. “In addition, his generosity has inspired others.”
On April 29, Haverhill High School student athletes joined school officials in a ceremony to thank DiBurro for his contributions, especially for money to equip the school’s weight room and fitness center.
Students lined up on either side of the sidewalk from the gymnasium to the fitness center. DiBurro and his family, escorted by Principal Beth Kitsos, walked between the two lines of students who applauded and cheered.
Once he was at the fitness center, local dignitaries such as School Committee members, city councilors, the mayor, the superintendent and other school staff were waiting to welcome him. Students were very vocal, cheering several times and applauding every speaker.
Senior Riley Gilmore, a student athlete, said that without DiBurro’s generosity, renovations to the fitness center would not be possible.
“It has given the athletes of all sports the opportunity to reach their potential,” Gilmore said. “All of the enthusiasm shown by the student athletes in the fitness center has been really great. It is exciting to see how our sports teams will benefit from his generosity in the future.”