Saluting Dick Walsh: Students, faculty sport school colors honoring dedicated school employee


Faculty honor Mr. Dick Walsh after 61 years of dedicated service to Algonquin.

Riya Pujari, Editor-in-Chief

Students, faculty, and administration dressed in maroon and gold to commemorate and honor Dick Walsh on September 28. After 61 years of teaching, coaching, and mentoring Walsh will no longer have an active role in the ARHS building during the school day. 

“He stands alone in the number of years he has devoted to this school and that is significant… He was a part time employee but a full time mascot for Algonquin,” Principal Tom Mead said.

Social studies teacher Gina Johnston organized a faculty meeting outside the rotunda to create a video and take pictures for Walsh. Teachers held banners that thanked Walsh for his years of service to the school.

“He has touched more lives than people would ever realize,” Johnston said. “[I organized this event] just to show him we miss him already and that he means a lot to us.”

Walsh is commonly known for funding the track in back of the school and having his name on the scoreboard in the football stadium but he is also remembered for the lasting impressions he has left on individuals and to the school as a whole.

“The exchanges between him and the students were wonderful to watch,” Assistant Principal Mel Laughton said. “You could see the respect and admiration the kids had for him.”

Not only was Walsh a confidant to students but also an adviser to many teachers throughout the school. Economics teacher Nicole Ruffo expressed the enduring effect Walsh has had on her.

“Mr. Walsh has been a mentor to me for over sixteen years,” Ruffo said. “He has an unbelievable work ethic and great love for the Algonquin community.”

In his years teaching, Walsh has done a broad spectrum of services to the school. He was a coach, a teacher, and the athletic director for many years. But in the eyes of students and faculty he was Algonquin’s biggest fan.

“He is pretty much the ultimate super fan,” senior George Gu said. “He showed up to all the sporting events and showed up to school everyday before six. He is such an influential figure. [He is] someone who takes his own time to make the school a better place.”

Students and faculty have responded passionately after learning that Walsh will no longer be a constant fixture in the building. However, he will be remembered and missed for many generations to come.

“Someone who has made this much of an impact for over sixty years will be greatly missed,” Ruffo said. “Mr. Walsh is Algonquin. He probably bleeds the colors maroon and gold. He is a man of integrity and loyalty, and who wouldn’t want to honor him?”

(Article updated Oct. 1 2015)