Editor’s Note: This is one in a series of reports on the 2017 You Are Special award winners from the 25th Annual Salute To Framingham. The report below was written by the building principal. Photo courtesy.
Cicero has said, “If you have a garden and library, you have everything you need.”
Fuller has both, thanks to an amazing gardener – Kathy Gagen.
Since 2001, Kathy has planted seeds of optimism, empathy, gentleness and wisdom wherever she goes. Kathy freely shares these gifts with every member of the Fuller community, but especially with our students and staff of the Crimson team.
Kathy is the first one to dig more deeply in order to discover ways to reach, teach and support a student who may have complex physical, learning and social-emotional needs.
Kathy works tirelessly to model and teach her students life skills through the process of planting and caring for our Fuller garden each spring.
She helps students to nurture the flowers and vegetables in the garden and to provide a safe space for our resident mother mallard.
Kathy guides the students to escort the yearly brood of ducklings to safety across the street to a nearby pond, mother duck clucking behind.
In the colder months, Kathy supports students in the Falcon Cafe, where our Crimson Team students cook and serve breakfast or lunch to our staff every other week.
She uses humor and enthusiasm to teach students how to follow a recipe, greet guests, and manage the cash register.
Kathy uses her own personal time and resources to ensure that students have what they need to grow.
She works to provide a meaningful middle school experience for her students, securing outfits for the 8th grade dance, and even giving a haircut or two!
Her truly caring and generous attitude are evident in the relationships she maintains with staff and students for years beyond their time at Fuller.
Kathy often welcomes the Crimson Team staff to her home for the opportunity to get to know one another better. She understands the importance of opportunities like these to help our community grow. Kathy is a master gardener nurturing people and plants.
She is an unsung hero for the many students and staff who have had the honor of her friendship, professionalism and selfless giving.