Lynn English School Community Honors Thomas Strangie at Retirement Celebration

Colleagues, friends, and family honored former Lynn English teacher and principal Thomas Strangie at a retirement celebration Tuesday at Spinelli’s, Lynnfield.

After graduating from Lynn English in 1982 and attending Boston University, Strangie began as a substitute teacher at English while in college. He later served as a history teacher and vice principal before becoming principal in 2012. He was the graduation coordinator, yearbook adviser, and a class adviser, among other unheralded roles, always seeking to give students opportunities to broaden and enjoy their educational experience at English.

Former Lynn English High School Principal Thomas Strangie and his proud family are pictured at the retirement celebration. Front row, from left, are Ramsay Johnson, Ivy Blais, and Melissa Frye. Back row, from left, are Mikaela Strangie, Michael Strangie, guest of honor Thomas Strangie, Jen McQuarrie, Marissa Strangie, and Jane Carritte.

Former Vice Principal Donna Hegan, who served in the school administration with Strangie, former Supt. of Schools Dr. Cathy Latham, who appointed Strangie as principal, and Sgt. Major Kenneth Oswald, leader of the JROTC program, all praised Strangie’s excellent leadership of the school in their remarks.

Guidance counselor Matt Wilkins presented a heartwarming slide show chronicling Strangie’s life as a student at English and his career at the school, using humor and wit to honor the beloved teacher and administrator. It was a brilliantly done tribute to Strangie and showcased the esteem in which he was held by his colleagues and the students at English.

Hegan said to her former colleague in her remarks, “You are a class act, a man of character and high standards, a moral compass for all of us, and my inspiration.”

 “Tom was so proud to be the principal of Lynn English High School,” said Latham. “He gave his heart, his soul, and everything to that school. And I know for a fact that he is sorely and dearly missed at the school.”

Oswald thanked Strangie for his tremendous support of the Lynn English JROTC program. “I have served 25 years in the Marine Corps,” said Oswald. “I have served with all kinds of officers who have been in combat, and I will tell you it is has been a privilege for me to be under your command at Lynn English High School. The support that you gave me running the ROTC program, by far could not have literally made a program more successful.”

Strangie received two, separate standing ovations from the assemblage that included his brother, Michael, and other members of the Strangie family.

“Nobody gets where they belong by themself – it takes everybody and it took all of you,” Strangie said humbly. “I met great people, great teachers, and great colleagues and I learned a lot.”

It was a night to remember for a man who excelled in his career, was respected and admired by all, and set the foundation to success for so many Lynn English students.

Lynn English teacher Angel Grullon, who graduated with Strangie in the Class of 1982, said, “He hasn’t changed. His dedication to education was back then the same as it is now. He was an excellent student. Besides being an exceptional person, I consider him definitely as a friend and I look up to him for his dedication and the way he ran English. It was a tight ship, but what I liked most about him he did the best he could to follow the rules, and he did the right thing. I remember him doing the right thing always.”

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