Saugus Public Schools officials will formally dedicate the Lemoine-Mitchell Auditorium at Saugus Middle/High School on Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. The Saugus High School Winter Concert will follow the ceremony at 7 p.m. Nancy M. Lemoine, a popular Saugus High School drama teacher/stage director and Jerome J. Mitchell, a longtime director of music education and the Saugus High School band director, will be honored posthumously. They both passed away in 2013.
“By being who they were, they motivated and empowered countless students to go out into the world to affect and inspire change,” School Committee Member Ryan Fisher said.
“It’s really extraordinary that their work continues after they’re gone, and I know they will continue to inspire so many future students in this beautiful facility in the years ahead,” he said.
The two Saugus educators had previously been honored with plaques in the auditorium of the old Saugus High School. And the School Committee decided to extend that honor into the new building.
Lemoine, a lifelong resident of Saugus, was a 1975 Saugus High School graduate. She taught in Saugus Public Schools from 1987 to 2013. She served as the drama director and choral director at Saugus High. From 1995 to 1997, she also served simultaneously as the drama coach and choral director at the Belmonte Middle School. She developed and supervised several student groups, including the Show Choir, vocal quartets and a very successful student improvisation troupe called Needs Improvment.
“Nancy’s greatest joy was seeing her students grow into the people she knew they could be, through their love of theater and music,” says the plaque that honors her.
“Her enthusiasm for life continues to inspire us and is a treasured legacy for the students of yesterday, today and tomorrow,” it continues.
Mitchell touched many lives as an exceptional music educator for the town from 1949 to 1993. He served as the leader of the 100th Division Infantry Band that toured Europe entertaining troops during World War II. After that service, he graduated from Boston University. He was soon named director of the Saugus High School Band, which evolved into director of music education for Saugus Public Schools.
“Mr. Mitchell developed many musical groups and squads in which the curriculum resulted in students who were inspired to achieve,” says the plaque that honors him. “They shared their talents and musical culture with confidence in performances and parades across the USA and Canada in the Music Exchange Program. He believed in his students which enabled him to believe in themselves. Mr. Mitchell’s passion for music and teaching is an ongoing legacy to share.”