hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


February 28, 2013

Remembering her dedication

City to name center for beloved teacher


“She, my mother and other sister went shopping Saturdays, and Joanne would bring home something for a student who she knew need a jacket, a hat, gloves during the winter,” her brother said.

Bevilacqua said his mother brought 40 boxes of supplies to the School Department after his sister died. When his mother cleaned out her late daughter’s belongings, she discovered school supplies that Joanne had accumulated to use in her classrooms, Bevilacqua said. The family decided those items should be given to the School Department.

Joanne Bevilacqua graduated from Haverhill High School in 1978. She did not go far from home, attending Merrimack College and gaining two bachelor’s degrees, one in education and the other in psychology. Later, she earned a master’s degree in early childhood education from Fitchburg State College.

She started working in Haverhill schools after graduating from Merrimack College, her brother said.

Bevilacqua loved animals and adopted many. She had a dog and cat when she died. A caring woman who seemed to know that a little kindness went a long way, her memory and name will become part of the school she attended and where she taught.

Scully said he does not yet know what the plaque will say or when the city will hang it on the school, because the plan has come together only recently.

“We’re doing it at no one person’s request,” Scully said. “So many of the faculty at the schools Joanne taught in asked about doing something in her memory and, as the Tilton was her school, her family’s school, this seemed the appropriate thing to do.’’

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