“Finding out you were assigned to Mr. Fichera’s fifth-grade class was like finding out you found a golden ticket to a world that only a few lucky kids got to experience each year.”
Eric Taylor spoke for hundreds of former students at Page, Davis, and Lane Schools, some of whom are in their 50s, about an educator whose impact helped shape their lives.
John Fichera died in Florida last Friday after an illness. Fichera taught in Bedford from 1973 to 2007, almost all of them in Grade 5.
“John was simply a terrific human. Polite. Creative. Funny. Caring. He loved his students!” said Lane School Principal Rob Ackerman, whose tenure overlapped with Fichera’s final year. “Not many people realize he attended every Bedford High School graduation after he retired until he saw his final Grade 5 class cross the stage and get their diploma.”
Mary Gallant recalled her Davis School class campaign to get the Legislature to declare the first Thursday in May as Right Whale Day. Students wrote letters and read them in person at a legislative committee meeting.
“To me, he was the life of the school. He was one of the reasons I became a teacher,” said Gallant, who has taught third grade in Cambridge for many years.