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Thomas O’ Driscoll, second principal, passes away

Then-principal+Thomas+O%27Driscoll+poses+at+the+Homecoming+bonfire+in+this+photo+from+the+1988+Endeavor.++
Then-principal Thomas O'Driscoll poses at the Homecoming bonfire in this photo from the 1988 Endeavor.

Then-principal Thomas O'Driscoll poses at the Homecoming bonfire in this photo from the 1988 Endeavor.

The Endeavor file photo

The Endeavor file photo

Then-principal Thomas O'Driscoll poses at the Homecoming bonfire in this photo from the 1988 Endeavor.

Joshua Irvine

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Thomas O’Driscoll, the school’s second principal, passed away recently.  He was 84.

After the departure of the first principal Roland R. Goins in 1984, O’Driscoll was hired to the role.  During his tenure, the school received a National Excellence in Education Award (1989) and won the state championship in football (1987), to date the school’s highest achieving football season.

He was also the last principal to have met the school’s namesake John Hersey, at Hersey’s final 1986 graduation appearance.

O’Driscoll retired in 1991, after seven years as principal and 35 years in education.  Though his time at Hersey was  shorter than his predecessor, O’Driscoll remained a presence at Hersey even in retirement, appearing at football games and other events for some time after his departure.

O’Driscoll stood by The Correspondent after the 1988 Supreme Court decision Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier placed restrictions on the First Amendment rights of student publications.  As a result of O’Driscoll’s actions, this publication retained its status as an open forum, which continues to this day.

“Tom Driscoll was a principal who did not love all the responsibilities of being a high school principal, but it was clear he loved Hersey,” journalism adviser Janet Levin, who served alongside the 1988 Correspondent, said.

He left a final message to the senior class of 1991 in the Senior Issue of The Correspondent.  “I urge you to never stop being a learner,” he wrote.  “Never stop being a doer, and never stop giving some of yourself back to your community.  Always continue to grow, to stretch yourself to ‘Reach for the Heights’ [a then oft-quoted school slogan].”

“Be the best you can be, believe in yourself.”

This post has been updated to include statements from Janet Levin.

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The Correspondent Live - The student news site of John Hersey High School
Thomas O’ Driscoll, second principal, passes away