Honoring the legacy of Elaine Fiske, Tewksbury teacher

Elaine Fiske had a zest for life, and deep devotion for teaching hundreds of second and third graders at the Heath Brook School in Tewksbury for 35 years, as a forward thinker.

She taught the three Rs, but believed in equal opportunity for all children, therefore taught a unit to third graders about the story of her favorite ballet, “The Nutcracker.”

They boarded the bus for Boston, dressed in their best, at little or no cost to families. A firm but friendly teacher, who never had children of her own, put love, devotion, and long hours into her work. Teachers in higher grades could see the difference. Her family and friends witnessed her joy in teaching, indeed it was all about her children. The sense of community, equality, and inclusiveness was evident in Mrs. Fiske’s classroom. She was humble, and never looked for reward or camera, just wanted to make a small difference in children — our future.

Her rippling waves of kindness and generous spirit, were inspirational and she always paid it forward. Elaine was a petite woman, with a giant heart, and a smile with personality that could light up a room. She encouraged a spirit of unity and community, by organizing a diverse group of colleagues for fine dining, or to enjoy the arts in Boston, but took on the responsibility to notify colleagues of the passing of others.

Mrs. Fiske was always there with her style, her smile, and her caring, even when she endured pain with long term underlying conditions. She was there to support others, a selfless, strong woman who would rather laugh than cry under difficult situations.  Mrs. Fiske never really retired in 2004, but rather returned as a volunteer at Heath Brook School, taught piano to children, and a loving caretaker — all to give back. She passed away July 23, 2020.

Elaine Fiske’s legacy of hard work, kindness, unity, and her forward thinking about equality and inclusion are important in our world today. Consider joining me in honoring her legacy by contributing to The Elaine Fiske Memorial Scholarship that I have set up in her memory. The recipient(s) will be a deserving Tewksbury senior planning on attending a four-year accredited college, with a major in education, and a participant in the arts.  Or if you prefer, make someone smile during a difficult time.

For information, please email me at KLLeClair@comcast.net
Karen LeClair,

Listening to science

Froma Harrop (9/21/20) is correct: Any country that doesn’t listen to science is in deep, deep trouble.

At the moment, what the federal government does is out of our hands until November.  But in Massachusetts, our state Legislature is currently debating our response to the terrifying events that Harrop describes. The Roadmap Bill, currently in conference committee, could emerge as a strong bill, moving us towards decreasing carbon emissions as science dictates, and in an equitable way.  Or it could come out as a puffball.

Let’s hope that Massachusetts, unlike our federal government, sides with science.

Susan Donaldson



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