WellesleyWeston Magazine


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.

Issue link: http://wellesleywestonmagazine.epubxp.com/i/460705

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Page 171 of 223

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 5 170 Spark, Blaze, Momentum Gifford students and staff were cheerfully anticipating the holidays and winter vacation when disaster struck five years ago. Inspectors believe that a new, but defective, industrial stove in the Fenn Center leaked natural gas, resulting in an explosion at 5:30 am that fateful December morning. "It was the last school day before winter vacation, and we were supposed to have a big com- munity meal and our 'Holiday Follies' that afternoon," recalls Bassichis. But instead, it took 60 firefighters from Weston, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Wellesley, Lexington, Lincoln, Natick, Newton, and Sudbury to extinguish the raging blaze. Fortunately, no one was hurt. "Kids come here because something isn't working where they are," says Bassichis. "Either they're not succeeding in school, or they don't have any friends. They have emotional, behavioral, or learning issues such as memory difficulties, or emotional problems from different kinds of trauma they've experienced. We have kids with Aspergers, those who are withdrawn, and those who are hyperactive." "we were part of a large community of people who cared" education Weston Fire Chief David Soar surveys the damage "While I don't recommend that anyone have a fire, there are several silver linings to the tragedy. It brought our community together — not just our school community, but the Weston community as well." – M i c h a e l J . B a s s i c h i s , E x e c u t i v e D i r e c t o r o f T h e G i f f o r d S c h o o l 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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