Retired Westport teacher and coach Tom Beauvais, who was inducted into the Basketball Coaches Association of New York’s Hall of Fame, is one of six to be inducted as the first members of the schools' Wall of Distinction.
Westport Central School is looking for a few good alumni and former teachers.
School Superintendent Dr. John Gallagher announced the creation of a Westport Wall of Distinction, which will be for former students and teachers who have had a profound impact on the community and the world.
“We have a school that is full of alumni that have gone on to do many great things,” Gallagher said. “We have Grammy Award winners, people who are at the of their field. We also have a number of teachers who should be honored for all that they have done for the school.”
Gallagher said that the idea was not new but was most recently brought up in conjunction with the induction of former teacher, administrator and coach Tom Beauvais into the New York State Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“Last August, a former staff member and community member approached the board of education to consider a place to honor him,” Gallagher said. “There was a discussion and we came away from that with the feeling that there are many more people that deserved to be honored as well as Coach.”
Gallagher said that there are some plaques that honor former teachers and students throughout the school, and those people would be automatically included in the wall.
Gallagher said that the school board-formed committee to take on the task of creating the wall looked at the criteria set by a number of schools and colleges in coming up with their own.
“We looked at all of it and now the committee is ready to start receiving nominations,” Gallagher said. “The goal is to start with a person from the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s 80s and maybe 90s for the first inductions.”
The Wall of Induction ceremony would be built around a weekend of events, including a celebration dinner at the school, a sporting event and a golf tournament.
“We want to tie it into Columbus Day weekend in October,” Gallagher said. “The golf tournament will be a source of income for the plaques and the dinner, while we want to make it a community celebration by including a sporting event and a dinner.”
The most likely location for the wall would be in the entrance area to the new gymnasium to start.
“We are looking for a place within the school, and that is an area where a lot of people come through when they come to graduations or other events,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher said that he hopes that the process will be come an “institutionalized” part of the school year.
“Once you get it going good, then the absence of one or two people is not going to stop the process from continuing,” Gallagher said.
Nominations for the Wall of Distinction can be made through the school’s website, www.westportcs.org, or by contacting the main office at 962-8244.