Fenway Welcomes the Mayor to our Family
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh spent the morning of September 13th visiting Fenway High School. During his visit, Mayor Walsh spoke with classes and answered questions from Fenway students including his thoughts on the closing of the Long Island Shelter, funding for STEM education, the opioid epidemic, and air conditioning for schools (he may have visited Fenway at the end of a heatwave). At the culmination of his visit, Mayor Walsh told students, “Every school should feel like Fenway High School.”
Alexa, a senior at Fenway and one of the Mayor’s personal tour guides wrote about the event:
"Once the Mayor stepped foot onto our campus, the mission became to highlight the Fenway core values, showing him how each student lives up to the Fenway motto: 'Work Hard. Be Yourself. Do the Right Thing.'
Seniors Keyon, Yajaira, and Alexa guided Mayor Walsh around Fenway when he visited. Joining them in the photo are Head of School Geoff Walker, Instructional Coach & Restorative Justice Specialist Kandice Sumner, and Chair of Fenway's Board of Trustees and Professor at Simmons College Gary Bailey.
One of the first stops we made was to Ms. Fussner's classroom. When Mayor Walsh walked in, the students were immediately eager and their hands popped-up, ready to ask their questions. The first question was from a freshman who asked about how the escalating issue of drug addicts around the Methadone Mile region. The Mayor confirmed that he knew this was an issue impacting many communities within the city of Boston. The Mayor stated he would later be attending a press conference regarding the current drug epidemic in Boston.
The Mayor visually and verbally showed his empathy through sharing his own struggles with alcoholism in the past. He credited his struggles as having played a part in his personal growth and journey to becoming a great leader in the city of Boston.
Throughout the course of the tour, Mayor Walsh continued to stop in other classrooms and answered tough questions about immigration, policies being passed by the President, violence in the neighborhoods of Boston, and probably the most important question of all—what is going to be done about school lunches. As the morning progressed, Mayor Walsh connected with students by posing for Snapchat videos and simply talking about sports and classes. In the couple of hours Mayor Walsh was at Fenway, he got to feel our close-knit community in action.
As the visit from Mayor Walsh came to an end, he was given some fabulous Fenway gear and this year's summer reading book, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and we encouraged him to think about Fenway’s essential question for the year: 'How do you do right in the face of injustice?'”
A few weeks after the Mayor came to Fenway, four students went to interview the Mayor at Boston City Hall. Ninth grade literacy teacher Ms. Fussner said, “Our students were professional, thoughtful, and polite without going easy on the mayor: they fully questioned the mayor about a wide range of important topics.” The students discussed the neighborhoods they’re from, which schools they went to, and their plans for the future (Sebastian wants to go to McGill University, Ahn to MassArt, Tashyra to Duke, and Nathan to Northeastern). The students then questioned the Mayor about the city's plan for BuildBPS, the opioid crisis, the need for students to all have access to M7 bus passes, and, of course, the Celtics.
(Photo courtesy of the Mayor’s Office)