WellesleyWeston Magazine

SPRING 2015

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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166 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | s p r i n g 2 0 1 5 many tears were shed during early morning television newscasts on December 23, 2009. Boston-area residents awoke to the news that firefighters were bat- tling a massive, four-alarm fire at The Gifford School in Weston. Viewers were shocked by the images on their screen, but it was absolutely heart- breaking for students and staff. "Students cried when they heard," recalls Michael J. Bassichis, executive director of The Gifford School. "A lot of our kids thought they would have to find a new school." The huge, 6:00 am blaze was con- tained to one building which housed the cafeteria, gym, and nurse's office. But from news reports, it was un - clear as to whether the whole school burned down. According to those who were there, at one point fire- fighters were forced to stop fighting the fire in order to protect other campus buildings, all of which are wooden structures. What has ensued since the fire five years ago is a tale of history, renewal, community, optimism, and resolve. The devastating fire that burned the previous Fenn Center to the ground on December 23, 2009 learning academics scholarship schoolwork curriculum teachers research The Gifford School After the Inferno, Surviving and Thriving C H E R Y L B . S C A PA R R O T TA writer education C O U R T E S Y T H E G I F F O R D S C H O O L

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