Hyde Honors Service and Leadership

Pat Damon, Barbara Damon-Day, and Senator George Mitchell.

Bath, ME—Hyde School invites the community to attend the fourth annual Pat Damon Service and Leadership Day on Wednesday, April 20, on its campus located at 616 High Street, Bath, Maine.  The schedule consists of community service projects beginning at 8:00a.m until 11:45 a.m. followed by lunch and the Pat Damon Service and Leadership Award Ceremony, which begins at 1:00p.m in the Student Union Theater and ends at 1:45p.m.  A rain date for the community service projects will be rescheduled for Friday, April 22.

The Pat Damon Service and Leadership Day was established at Hyde School as a way of remembering, honoring, and continuing to highlight the importance of commitment and service to our families, our local communities, our country, and the greater world in which we live. The annual spring event consists of community service projects and awards ceremony, where an individual who has made a significant contribution of service during his/her lifetime is presented with the Pat Damon Service and Leadership Award.

The honorees selected for this year are Ross Cunningham and Peter R. Wright, both graduates of Hyde School class of 1985.

“The Pat Damon Service and Leadership Day, now in its fourth year, is a great way for us to both honor Pat’s legacy of service, and to highlight for our students the benefits for all when one person reaches out a hand to help another,” says Hyde Head of School Don MacMillan.  “We are very pleased to honor two Hyde alumni this year, Ross Cunningham and Peter Wright, for their lifetimes of service.”

Cunningham joined the United States Navy at age 19. During his 22 years of service, he was deployed in support of Operation Desert Storm, Operation Allied Force, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. He flew countless combat missions and climbed from the junior enlisted ranks to the Rank of Lieutenant Commander.  After retiring in 2008, Ross quickly got involved in town activities and served on the Town Conservation Commission, Ethics Panel, Revitalization Committee, and the Promotion Committee.

Wright graduated from Springfield College with a B.S. in Political Science and History in December 1989.  Subsequently, he received his MAT with Distinction in Secondary Education from Simmons College in May 1992.  He was bestowed the Barbara Mason Kemp Award for student teaching from the college’s Department of Education and Human Services.  While at Simmons, Wright served as the Women’s Assistant Basketball coach.  He began his teaching career at Hyde in the fall of 1992.  While at Hyde Wright was honored by Columbia University’s Teachers College as a Klingenstein Fellow in the summer of 1995.  Upon leaving Hyde in the spring of 1997, Wright was awarded a James Madison Fellowship in Constitutional Studies that he completed at Simmons College and Georgetown University, graduating with an MALS in history in October 1998.

The award’s namesake, Patrick D. Damon, a Maine native, graduated in Hyde School’s Class of 1984. Damon lived a life of service and commitment to others, working tirelessly, unselfishly, and with humility to make a difference in any capacity in which he served. Pat was a beloved son, brother, husband, father, and friend.

Damon served in the Maine Legislature as Chief-of-Staff, and also served the State of Maine as the Associate Commissioner in the Department of Administrative & Financial Services and was Administrative Director at the Public Utilities Commission. As a Captain in the Maine Army National Guard, 240th Engineer Company, he received his orders for deployment. His service to his country and to his state ended on June 15, 2006 when Pat died in Afghanistan. Pat Damon personified the values that this community seeks to acknowledge.

For more information about this event and other Hyde Schoolevents, contact David Fiss at (207)-386-5204; dfiss@hyde.edu.

Photos from this year’s Pat Damon Forum

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