Oakdale Elementary's Ruth Dorsey Wins Ed Kelley Award

This award is given to teachers that show compassion, insight, and integrity.


At the beginning of each school year, the administration of the Dedham Public Schools holds a meeting. While introducing new teachers and reviewing their goals, policies, and procedures - two awards are handed out.

The first is the Joseph “Shad” Araby Award. This award is presented to an employee/s of the Dedham Public School System that has shown a dedicated effort to support the students of our schools.

This year's award was presented to the town's entire custodial staff – to honor their continued effort and hard work.

The second award is the Ed Kelley Award.  Recently, we had the pleasure of chatting with Assistant Superintendent Cynthia Kelly (herself an award winner 1994-95) about Ed Kelley and this prestigious award.  Ed Kelley was a much loved sixth grade teacher at the Avery School in the 1960's.

As a student teacher herself at Greenlodge, Cynthia Kelly remembers Ed as the Assistant Superintendent of schools in the 1970's. He was a great educator and an equally good administrator.

Mr. Kelley passed away in 1980, and then Superintendent, Dr. Harry McKay, wanted to secure Ed Kelley's legacy and have all of Dedham's teachers remember his qualities.

In 1981 an annual award was put in place, and each year a teacher that possessed those qualities, the most characteristics of Ed Kelley himself, would be honored.

The town was looking for a teacher that showed “compassion, insight, and integrity” while working at the Dedham Public Schools.

Thirty two individuals have been chosen over the years, including Don Seager, Asst. Supt. Cynthia Kelly, DHS Phys. Ed. Director Margery Bohan, Avery Principal Clare Sullivan and many other qualified teachers.

This year's award (a unanimous decision by the administrative team) was presented to Oakdale Elementary School Science teacher, Ruth Dorsey.

Earlier this summer, Mrs. Dorsey was selected as a State finalist to receive a Presidential Award for Excellence in Science. Sitting in the audience, among three hundred of her peers, DPS Superintendent June Doe read off Mrs. Dorsey`s name – leaving her speechless and shaking with excitement.

Never one to “bask in the spotlight”, Mrs. Dorsey credited her success to her Principal, Holli Armstrong, and her fellow fifth grade “team members” – Maryanne Beakes and Liz Tavalone. She also credits a wonderful group of students and parents at the Oakdale School. Congratulations.

debbie beaudoin September 13, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Well deserved Mrs Dorsey, Best teacher Ever!! Will never forget all she did for my daughter Ashleigh.


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