Saturday, July 18, 2009

Young Boxer Going Places Fast

From his name to his green boxing gloves and trunks and Irish-themed tattoos, Danny O'Connor wears his heritage with pride. But did you also know that this 24 year old, up-and-coming junior welterweight is a Framingham native?

Considering he didn't take up boxing until 2004 when he was 19, O'Connor is going places fast. He won more than 95 bouts as an amateur, went to the Bejing Olympics in 2008 as an alternate on the US Boxing team, and is now fighting professionally.

Growing up in Saxonville, O'Connor was introduced to boxing by his late grandfather, who lived across the street and would show the boy videos of old boxing matches. He was a standout wrestler at Framingham High, but didn't take up boxing as a sport until after he graduated in 2003.

Since turning pro last September, O'Connor is an undefeated 7-0, with two knockouts. Boxing pundits have said he has the potential to become a world champion. Remember the name and face, give him a thumbs up if you see him around town, and maybe someday you'll be saying, "I remember him way back when ..."

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Our Teacher of the Year - Another Thumbs Up for the Town's Education System

In late June, as many Hamsters know by now, Jae Goodwin, a 5th grade teacher at Charlotte A. Dunning Elementary School, was named the state's 2009-2010 Teacher of the Year.

What's more, she lives in Framingham, and has had children in the school system, which is often not the case in many nearby towns, whose public servants are frequently priced out of the communities they serve. Having teachers who live in the community I believe strengthens their ties to it. And when they themselves have children in the school system as well, the commitment is even stronger.

Ms. Goodwin came to teaching as a mid-life career changer, after volunteering in her son's school, then becoming a kindergarten aide, and eventually returning to school herself for a master's degree and a full-time career as an elementary school teacher. She is an inspiration to anyone considering teaching as a career, and one of the jewels of the Framingham Public Schools.