By Dan Shine
May V. Carrigan
Ed Note: We thank Valerie Forte Vitali for contributing to this article
The following proclamation hangs on the office wall at Carrigan Middle School:
At a Regular Meeting of the
Board of Education
Held April fifteenth, nineteen hundred and fifty-nine
The following Resolutions were unanimously adopted
Resolved that this Board hereby records with pride and admiration
The fifty-three years of continuous service performed by
Miss May V. Carrigan,
As a teacher, educational leader, school administrator, and community citizen, she started here teaching career in September 1906 as a teacher of first grade in the Campbell Avenue School, Northern School District, at a salary of three hundred eighty dollars per year. In September 1912 she was transferred to grade one in Forest School, still in the Northern School District, and in February 1921 was appointed principal of that school—a position she still handles with efficiency and distinction. On July sixth, nineteen hundred and twenty five, the Northern School District and the Western School District joined the Union School District (changed on July first, nineteen hundred and twenty-eight to the West Haven School District and the uniting of three school districts into one school system created many problems. Miss Carrigan was one of the school administrators that worked long and diligently to bring the unification to an effectual reality.
Resolved That we accept, with deep appreciation and conviction, her principles of educational development. She believes the real object of education is to give children resources that will endure as long as life endures, habits that time will ameliorate, not destroy, occupations that will render sickness tolerable, solitude pleasant, age venerable, and life more dignified and useful. Her youthful energy, mature judgement, seasoned experience, and devotion to youth and education are as vivacious today as they were in 1906.
Resolved That the Board recognize her generous allotment of “out-of-school-time” for active participation in community affairs that promote the general welfare of all people—young and old alike. Her counsel, labor and contributions to the West Haven Community House, Village Improvement Association, Visiting Nurse Association, Church Guild, numerous charities, and many other civic groups will serve as an inspiration and guide to any teacher or administrator that really wants to be a true educational leader. In the words of John Ruskin, “Every duty which we omit obscures some truth which we should have known.”
Resolved That these resolutions be spread upon the records of this Board and that a copy be presented to Miss May V. Carrigan at the testimonial dinner given in her honor on April eighteenth, nineteen hundred and fifty-nine.
BOARD OF EDUCATION