Walter Paulovic is not your usual Staples student. The senior will finish his classes next month, and join the Marine Corps — a longtime dream.
This morning, he did not arrive in school the usual way either. Westport Police officer Ned Batlin — who helped him through the Marine Corps process — picked him up at home, and drove him to North Avenue in the Humvee used for high water search and rescue operations.
The unusual transportation came courtesy of Jay Dirnberger. He’s mentored Walter since 7th grade. At the Westport Historical Society’s recent holiday house party, Jay saw a silent auction item — a ride to Staples in a cop car — and realized it would be a perfect gift for his mentee.
Jay won the auction. And Walter won a morning he’ll remember for a long time — even when he’s driving his own Marine vehicle, a few years “down the road.”