The Grafton Public Schools accepted the very generous donation of a handicap accessible van at a dedication ceremony Wednesday morning in the Grafton High School parking lot. The van was donated by the Koomey Family in memory of longtime Grafton resident Dr. John G. Koomey.
Shortly before he passed away, Dr. Koomey recognized the need for van transportation at Grafton High School. His family said, “This is a way of fulfilling his wish and we are pleased and honored to do this in his memory.”
The vehicle will become a part of the Functional Academic School-to-Work Program at Grafton High School. The program assists students with functional academics, life-skills, and vocational skills needed to become independent adults within the Grafton Community.
“We tailor each program to the individual child,” Mrs. Barry, Grafton High School Special Education teacher said. In the past, the students access had been limited to establishments that were within walking distance of the school.
“This van allows us to get out into the community; it really expands what we can do.” Mrs. Barry went on to say, “I can not overemphasize what this means to our children and to the school as a whole. It is incredibly generous.”
Superintendent Dr. Joseph Connors and School Committee members Daryl Rynning and Peter Carlson were on hand to accept the donation along with Special Education Director Kathleen Baris. A special plaque, signed by the students in Mrs. Barry’s class, was presented to the Koomey family.
Dr. Koomey was fondly known as “Poppy” by his grandchildren, two of whom are special need students in the Grafton public schools. The words “In Memory of Poppy” are inscribed on the back of the van.