UPDATED: Rep. Lewis Nominates Wresinski As Commonwealth Heroine

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Originally published at 10:17 a.m. Updated with new quote at 12:42 p.m.

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FRAMINGHAM – Framingham Public Schools Fine and Performing Arts Director Donna Wresinski was named as a Commonwealth Heroine Honoree today, June 24, at a virtual State House event.

Nominated by State Representative Jack Patrick Lewis, Wresenski was
recognized for the important role that she plays in our community and the lasting impact of the arts in the experience of students, parents/guardians, and the larger community.

Commonwealth Heroines are women who have made an outstanding difference in their communities and organizations. These women are community leaders who do not always make the news but often bring their communities together.

“Framingham’s thriving arts programs puts our city on the map,” Lewis said. “Donna makes every Framingham High School Drama Company performance feel like a Broadway show, and my anticipation of the company’s season is comparable to a child on Christmas morning. The Arts are integral to our students’ education, they aren’t a disposable add-on. Our community is made stronger because of Donna’s passion.”

“I am honored and humbled by this recognition,” Wresinski said. “I am one of the fortunate women who lives her dream. Framingham has given me the opportunity to use my art to build community and to enhance the lives of students and adults through the arts. I am grateful every day to live and
work in such an arts-vibrant city. Thank you Representative Lewis and thank you Framingham.”

Wresinski taught in Ashland for 12 years before accepting a position to teach theatre in Framingham in 2001.

After many years of dedicated teaching, she was appointed the head of
Framingham High School’s Fine and Performing Arts department and later became the director of Fine and Performing Arts for all of Framingham Public Schools.

Wresinski is also a past director of the M.E.T.G (Massachusetts Educational Theater Guild) Council and currently serves on the board of directors for the M.E.T.G.

“Donna has been a mentor to me for so long,” said Teri Shea, drama teacher at Cameron Middle School, and her daughter. “I watched her build a theater program in Ashland from nothing and then start again in Framingham. She has the amazing ability to get people to share their talents and grow as artists and teachers under her leadership. In Framingham she has been able to create amazing arts for tens of thousands of people.”

“If one were to choose a single word to describe Donna Wresinski, it would be tenacity,” Sheron Doucette, Theatre Director at Walsh Middle School, said. “She is a tenacious advocate for the Arts in our community.”

“The canvas she personally paints on is Theatre; however, she is dedicated to, has an appreciation for, and mission to promote all the Arts in Framingham. She has high standards for her staff, for the students, and for administrators, with a higher standard for herself to elevate the
learning environment for the Arts in our city. This comes from knowing that the Arts are not a luxury but a necessity for the well-being and development of all students,” added Doucette.

Wresinski’s leadership is also acknowledged by the greater community, including Framingham Superintendent of Public Schools Bob Tremblay.

”More than a Director of our Fine & Performing Arts Program, Donna Wresinski is a tireless champion of students and advocate for student voice in the Framingham Public Schools,” he said.

“Our acclaimed theatre program is just one of many platforms where student voice can be heard and where our students shine. Through her engagement with students and staff in our theatre, music, dance, and visual arts programs, Donna continues to be an inspiration to anyone in her company – and I don’t just mean the drama company,’ said Tremblay.

“Donna has a special bond with educator colleagues, families, community
members, and state professional associations where she is well-respected as an educator and leader. I am so proud to be on a team with Donna and to celebrate our common love for the arts in a community that also shares those same values and recognizes the importance of the arts in developing the whole person,’ said the Superintendent. “Long before social-emotional learning was named, the arts have had a long and important history of filling that important part of a complete learning experience where
student expression can be realized in so many creative and meaningful ways. Donna understands the importance of student voice and agency has led an impassioned career doing this selfless work that continues to make an impactful difference in the lives of our students, their families, and our
community.”

“Donna Wresinski is the epitome of a natural leader. She inspires everyone she works with to be a better artist and a better person. She has been a lifelong mentor and friend for me and I am beyond grateful for the gifts she gives to her staff, students and the community every year,” said Chris Brindley, Framingham High School Fine and Performing Arts Department Head. “I am privileged to be among one of her many students that she has inspired to keep creating art that makes change and makes a difference in the world. There is no one better to receive this honor.” 

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State Rep Maria Robinson, Rep. Jack Patrick Lewis, Donna Wresinski, Christ Brindley, and Stephanie Henry.

Photo and release submitted to SOURCE media

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