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Tomasini, Rebecca  
Rebecca J. Tomasini 1971 - 2016 Rebecca Jennifer Tomasini of Oakland, California, died unexpectedly Wednesday while working and doing what she loved. Born in Dalton, Massachusetts, she was the daughter of Paul C. and Helen R. Tomasini. A 1989 graduate of Wahconah Regional High School, Rebecca was already at a young age a prolific writer, actress, thinker, and advocate for social justice. She attended Our Lady of the Elms College before receiving her BA in English from Smith College in 1995. She lived in Athens (Greece), London, and New York before moving to California. She taught at Athens College in Athens and earned a MA in Renaissance Studies from the University of London in 1997. In New York she worked in the financial industry for Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, and Cushman and Wakefield. Her passion for education drew her back to the classroom in 2001 and she moved to Los Angeles, where she passionately taught English Language Learners at Bell Gardens High School. She was awarded the California Association of Bilingual Educators' Teacher of the Year Award in 2002 and earned a second MA from Claremont Graduate University's School of Education in 2004. In 2007 Rebecca began working in educational reform, first in the charter school movement at the California Charter School Association, and then founding her own educational consultancy, the Alvo Institute, through which she helped schools personalize learning for students by integrating technology and data into inspirational, highly effective teaching. Rebecca was a fearless traveler, a phenomenal cook, a storyteller with uncanny comic timing, a lover of great music and books and art, and a fierce advocate for students, the mentally ill, survivors of sexual assault, and those whose voices were not as powerful as hers. She had a remarkable capacity for making and maintaining friends, for delighting in the accomplishments and idiosyncrasies of those she loved, and for connecting a vast network of friends across the globe. Rebecca devoted herself to the care of her ill mother for many years and inspired those around her with the energy and hope she brought to the last days of her mother's life. Rebecca radiated joy, positive energy and unconditional love. She was a gift to those whose lives she touched. Rebecca is survived by her father, Paul, brother, Eric, sister-in- law Kate, beloved nephew Charlie, a large extended family, an even larger group of dedicated friends, and Seymour, her faithful and spirited dog. Funeral Services will be held Tuesday May 31 st at St. Agnes Church, 489 Main St, Dalton, MA 01226. Receiving will be held starting at 10 am, followed by a service at 11 am. In lieu of flowers, please consider the needs of the family by making a donation. https://www.gofundme.com/ "Remembering Rebecca Tomasini"
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Published in The Berkshire Eagle on May 26, 2016
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