Unsung Hero #171

Don O’Day chairs the Coleytown Middle School Building Committee. For the past 2 years, he has overseen the school’s renovation, after closure due to mold.

Sloan O’Connell-Jamali — parent of 3 boys — writes:

I don’t know Don O’Day personally. But I would like to nominate him for Unsung Hero recognition, as we close out 2020.

Don O’Day

Earlier this month he handed off the Coleytown Middle School building to the Board of Education. As my 6th grader excitedly waits to walk through the doors of CMS for the first time on Jan 4, there is no doubt in my mind that we have Don O’Day (and his amazing team) to thank.

He has been the ultimate public servant, volunteering his leadership, time and abilities over the past 2 years to help bring our CMS building back to life.

I can only imagine the countless hours of work, meetings, Zoom calls and spreadsheets he has had to devote to getting this job done — during a pandemic nonetheless.

I am personally grateful to have had his constant Facebook updates, which kept us all in the loop and were totally transparent.

We are so lucky to have someone like Don in our community. His volunteerism is inspiring and he has changed our Westport community for the better.

What an inspired nomination, Sloan — and so true. Don O’Day has truly modeled what it means to juggle the often-competing demands of town officials, school administrators, parents, students and other residents — all while keeping the needs of children front and center.

Thank you, Don. We all look forward to the reopening of Coleytown Middle School early next month. For that, you are absolutely this week’s Unsung Hero!

(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email dwoog@optonline.net)

10 responses to “Unsung Hero #171

  1. Excellent choice! Don is a hard worker, team player and wears his skills with an appealing humility. Best, of course, is his dry sense of humor and humanitarian spirit. Congratulations Don – well deserved.

  2. Allison Ziering Walmark

    #DonODay2024. Too soon?

  3. hijkantor@yahoo.com

    Well deserved.

  4. Don definitely knows how to lead a team. I know and worked with Don when we were both on the Board of Education. As its chair, he was able to work with the superintendent, Board members, Town officials, parents, town officials and bring consensus in times that were frequently difficult. He has a knack for doing good work, speaking honestly and gaining the trust of his audience.

    I’m sure this project ended up being bigger than he had anticipated, but Don and the Coleytown Middle School Building Committee did a great job making Coleytown Middle School a school that we as a Town can be proud of.

  5. Don is the epitome of selflessness in his dedication to all things Westport.

  6. Steven Halstead

    Don, I thank you, the BOE thanks you, the students thank you, the teachers and the Administration thank you and the Town thanks you.
    Most could not even imagine the effort you have made. I can.
    Don understands that this is not just about the “bricks and mortar”, it is about a building enabling people to deliver the educational program that the Town needs and desires.

  7. Donald Bergmann

    Warm wishes to Don and his family, as well as to all who worked with Don on the CMS project, for the happiest of holidays and a wonderful New Year. All deserve our plaudits and each of them deserves to feel considerable pride in their effort. As is so often said, thanks to the fine citizens of Westport who contribute to both the spirit and the reality of our Town.
    Don Bergmann

  8. Thanks, Sloan. I have really appreciated your kind comments on my Facebook posts but this is particularly humbling. Still some work to do but it’s minor and should be pretty invisible. Hope your son likes the school.
    – Don

  9. Thank you Don for all you have done for Westport’s children and families over many years. Have a Merry Christmas!

  10. Phyllis Wallitt

    Well said thanks for all your hard work Don!!