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Dr. Peter Wright

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Longtime Local Educator Dr. M. Peter Wright dies at age 75. Dr. M. Peter Wright formerly of 57 Mountain View Drive, Clarksburg passed away at his daughter's home on September 10, 2017 surrounded by his family.

Dr. Wright was born in North Adams to Milford Peter Wright and Margaret (Bennett) Wright on March 25, 1942. In the late 1950's, at a very early age, he began working part time at both People's Grocery Market and Neville's Donut Shop and Bakery, and continued working there for fifteen years. His formative education was in local schools, graduating from Freeman Elementary School. After his father's death in 1954 he lived with James and Margaret Mc Clelland who were his caregivers throughout his high school years. While at Drury High School he was a three sport athlete in track, basketball and football. He was chosen varsity basketball starter his sophomore year and was named All Berkshire, All Western Mass and Honorable Mention All American Football center in his senior year, graduating from Drury in 1960.

After high school graduation he made his home with his grandmother, Mary Bennett, and uncle, Francis Bennett, and remained there throughout his early college years graduating from North Adams State College (Now MCLA) in 1964. He married his high school sweetheart, Ann Marie Mullen, on July 9, 1966 in St. Francis Church. The couple celebrated their fifty first wedding anniversary this past July.

Dr. Wright began his teaching career in New York State in 1964 and later taught in Stamford, Connecticut returning to North Adams when he was hired at McCann, he received a Master of Science degree in history from Danbury State College (now Western Connecticut University), completing his thesis entitled "World War II: An Economic Ramification of the treaty of Versailles 1919-1939." In 1972 he was awarded a sabbatical from McCann when accepted into the Doctoral Program at the University of Massachusetts fulfilling his residency requirements from 1972-1973 and was awarded his Doctorate in Education in 1973.

That same year he was named Vice Principal for Instruction at Drury High School. He was particularly proud of two major administrative achievements in his career. As Vice Principal Dr. Wright was instrumental in planning for the move to the new Drury High School, as well as reorganizing the administrative staff for the new school. Two new administrative positions were created to assist the principal in transitioning: Vice Principal for Administration of Discipline, and Vice Principal for Curriculum and Instruction, the position to which Dr. Wright was appointed. In 1975 1,100 students were expected to begin the school year in the new Drury High School "open space" structure, by that same year St. Joseph high School closed adding over 100 additional students to the Drury student body. In 1976, under the tutelage of Robert Maroni, Assistant Superintendent at the time, Dr. Wright was named Director of pupil services, a position he held until 1988, overseeing the city's guidance and special education services, as well as assisting then Superintended Robert Maroni.

In 1988 Dr. Wright was appointed Superintended of Schools for the Windham Southwest Supervisory Union in Vermont, responsible for the supervision of six diverse school districts. He was particularly proud of the administrative staff that he developed both in the various school buildings and at the central office level, and played a major role in combining the Wilmington and Whitingham School Districts into the Twin Valley School Districts. That school district continues its collaborative efforts today after many years of disparate educational endeavors. As Superintendant of Schools Dr. Wright was tapped to consult to the New England Association of secondary schools and colleges, evaluating and accrediting public schools through New England. Dr. Wright served as Superintendent at WSSU for twenty-two years, retiring in 2010. At that time he was the longest serving Superintendent of Schools in the State of Vermont. His educational career as a teacher and administrator spanned forty-six years of service in four states.

Over the years Dr. Wright enjoyed traveling with his family including several times a year to Naples, Florida to Kristen and Todd Scott's vacation home; and enjoyed nine cruises to such destinations as the Caribbean and Alaska. He also traveled to Greece, Turkey and Bosphorous Strait, and had the good fortune of traveling to Beijing, China with the University of Vermont Exchange Program. He was also a Charter member of the Vermont Deerfield Valley Rotary Club. He loved life and lived it to the fullest.

He was most grateful for his selfless caregivers: his devoted wife, Ann Marie, two wonderful daughters, Lisa and Kristen, and son in law Todd Scott.

He leaves his wife of fifty-one years, Ann Marie, two daughters, Lisa Wright and partner James J. Maroni; Kristen Wright- Scott and husband Todd; grandsons Brenden and Keeghen Scott (who called him "papa") and step grandson Matthew Scott; his brother, Christopher and wife Jan of Port St. Lucie, Florida; and brother and sister in law Gerald and Carol Mullen. Nephews include Corey, Christopher and Curtis Mullen and their families.

The family wishes to give a special thank you to Kayla Whitman, from Berkshire Visiting Nurses for her special care and Compassion.

FUNERAL NOTICE: A Liturgy of Christian Burial to celebrate the life of Peter Wright will be on Friday, September 15, 2017 at 10:00 AM at St. Elizabeth of Hungary Church. Burial will follow in Southview Cemetery. Calling hours will be on Thursday from 5-7 PM at the Flynn & Dagnoli Funeral Home - WEST CHAPEL, 521 West Main St. North Adams, MA 01247.

In lieu of flowers charitable donations may be made to Pop Cares or the Berkshire Visiting Nurse Association in care of the funeral home.

To add to the Book of Memories, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com

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Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Sept. 12, 2017
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