Abington Public School’s Art Teacher Says Goodbye
This article is being republished with permission from the Green Wave Gazette. The originally version can be found here: https://greenwavegazette.org/18483/showcase/thank-you-mr-dirado/#photo
By Elizabeth Roy
After 24 years as an art teacher for Abington public schools, Mr. Mike DiRado is set to retire in June of 2020. DiRado became the Art Director for the Abington School District when Mr. John Mahoney retired in 2013.“
Mr. DiRado graduated from West Roxbury High School and his class was the first graduating class, since West Roxbury High School opened his senior year. He then attended Massachusetts College of Art and Design for his undergraduate degree and Pratt Institute in New York City for his teaching degree.
Before Mr. DiRado came to Abington he taught high school art in both New York City for two years and Boston for two years as well. Mr. DiRado said, “If my wife and I did not decide to move back to Boston when our daughter was born, I would probably have remained teaching in New York City. I left teaching in Boston, because the commute was terrible.”
Mr. DiRado brought a lot to the art program. “I’ll miss his friendly smile every time I walk into his room, whether I was asking him a favor, to chat, or just to say hi. I’ll definitely miss his enthusiastic energy and kindness,” Erielle Amboy ’20 said.
Mr. DiRado said he was very grateful that his career was spent at Abington: “There is a great sense of community and the support for the schools, art programs, and athletic programs,” he said. He also said he was very thankful that he got to spend the last few years of his career in the beautiful art room inside the new building.
Mr. DiRado has taught thousands of students throughout the years. He said, “I constantly meet former students throughout the state and it is nice to have a common connection to Abington. I guess you could say it is my adopted town.”
After he has retired, Mr. Dirado plans to keep very busy. “I would like to spend time in my studio creating my own artwork. I would also like to travel back to Europe once it is safer to do so. There is still a lot of artwork to see and food to taste. I plan to also work a little. My wife Wendy has a business and I will help her out part time. Retirement will also allow me a little more time to do the things I enjoy such as spending more time with my family, longer dog walks, doing construction projects around the house, riding my bicycle and motorcycle, fishing a bit and maybe even teaching art a bit. Finally, I will remain active with organizations that advocate for the importance of art education in the schools, which is a cause that I strongly support,” he said.
Mr. DiRado’s suggestion to students is “Take chances, make mistakes, and don’t worry about those mistakes. I’ve learned over the years that it is important to be kind, honest, empathetic, open minded, hardworking, and be willing to lend a helping hand”
He had one more piece of advice: “Remember to have fun, do things you love and visit your children’s art teacher during open house.”