FRAMINGHAM – Framingham Public Schools Fine and Performing Arts K-12 Director Donna Wresinski will receive the first-ever Framingham High Inspirational Award at the inaugural Framingham Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, May 7.
The Framingham High Hall of Fame Board created the Inspirational Award is to recognize Framingham High staff, who are not yet eligible for the Hall of Fame, but who inspire their students and fellow staff to achieve their dreams and become future Framingham Hall of Fame honorees.
Four individuals will be inducted into the first-ever Framingham Hall of Fame at the Sheraton Hotel and Conference Center. They are the late Royal Bolling, Adam Siegel, Corey Cheng, and Lisa Bebchick.
Wresinski will receive the special award at that ceremony, also.
Tickets for the Hall of Fame ceremony are available through April 28. Tickets are $75. It is a plated filet mignon dinner (vegetarian options available).
Cocktails at 6 p.m. Dinner at 7 p.m.
Ceremony is 7:45 to 9:15 p.m. with MAGIC 106.7 morning show host and Framingham resident David O’Leary as the master of ceremonies.
Proceeds from the Framingham Hall of Fame will benefit Framingham High arts, drama, music, and authorized clubs like robotics, Black Student Union, Environmental Club, etc.
The Framingham High Hall of Fame Inc. is still accepting sponsors for the May 7 event. There are several sponsorship levels – $250, $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000.
MutualOne Bank Foundation is a Sapphire Blue sponsor at $5,000 To learn more about sponsorships or become a sponsor, click here.
Wresinski has been the Fine & Performing Arts Director for the Framingham Public Schools since 2014. She will retire at the end of this school year.
Staff from Framingham High, Framingham North High, and Framingham South High are eligible for the Framingham High Hall of Fame five years after retirement, according to the bylaws.
Wresinski began teaching in the Framingham Public School District in 2002 as a theatre teacher. She was then promoted to the Framingham High department head.
In her current position, she is responsible for writing the comprehensive theatre arts curriculum at Framingham High School and bringing equity to the theatre program in the middle school by expanding the in school program to include all three schools.
As the PreK-12 Fine and Performing Arts Director, Wresinski revitalized the grade five band and string program, developed ARTS Matter Day in Framingham, created the K-12 Visual Arts Show held annually at the public library, brought music classes to B.L.O.C.K.S. preschool students and and unified the elementary music curriculum by introducing Quaver Music to all 9 elementary schools.
Wresinski said her proudest accomplishments include bringing arts into the community and developing a partnership between the schools and the members of the adult community.
She traveled to London and Scotland with almost 100 students and adults, where her students performed as a part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
In 2011, Wresinski directed The Laramie Project as a collaborative event with student and community performers. The sold out performances and associated candlelight vigil initiated community workshops and conversations to use the arts as a starting point for healing.
Last fall, Wresinski continued that work when she directed 9/11 – A Remembrance at Amazing Things Arts Center to provide a place for students and community members to reflect on the tragedy of September 11, 2001 in a safe and nurturing arts environment.
Wresinski introduced the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild (METG) Festival to Framingham in 2003 and since that time the Framingham High School Drama Company has represented Framingham as one of the top schools in the state for 14 of the 17 years the finals have been sponsored.
Her students have won countless awards and Framingham High has won the state title twice in that time, the last time in 2016.
Wresinski is also the chair of the board of the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild (METG) and a member of the Arts for All Coalition.
A graduate of Framingham State College and Lesley University, she received her certificate of School Administration from Worcester State College.
Wresinski recently announced her retirement with the district. She lives in Mashpee with her actor husband Michael and is the proud mother of two grown children and seven grandchildren.
Wresinski is currently the Executive /Artistic Director for The Eventide Theatre Company in Dennis, where she hopes to impact a new community with her passion for theatre. Her first production Into the Woods opens May 5.
Wresinski believes her “students should respect the power of the arts and as they continue to flourish as an artist, musician, actor or technician they should strive to use their art to make positive change in their world.”
She has watched hundreds of her students do just that as working actors, producers, designers, musicians, musical directors, and professors.
She said her greatest legacy is the number of students who have gone on to teach theatre as a result of their time with her.
That includes Chris Brindley at Framingham High and her daughter Teri Shea, the theatre teacher at Cameron Middle.
The Framingham High Hall of Fame Foundation has been holding an athletic hall of fame since 2018.
In 2018, Framingham Public Schools eliminated athletic fees for all Framingham High athletes.
Proceeds from the Flyers Hall of Fame ceremony, and subsequent induction ceremonies, benefit the Framingham High athletics department.
With the Framingham High School Foundation announcing that it would disband in 2021, and that the Salute to Framingham would not happen in 2022 or subsequent years, the Framingham High Hall of Fame Foundation Board voted to create a Framingham Hall of Fame for non-athletic alumni who graduated from Framingham High, Framingham North High, or Framingham South High. Inductees to the new alumni hall of fame could be performers, entrepreneurs, scientists, business executives, public servants, artists, educators, etc.
Inductees can also be principals and staff who have retired from Framingham High, Framingham North, or Framingham South.
Members of Framingham High Hall of Fame Foundation include Board President Jim Kelly, Vice President Noval Alexander, Clerk Heather Connolly, Treasurer Jacqui Goldberg, Technology Officer Susan Petroni, and Board members Scott Wadland and Ricky Finlay.
The 4th annual Framingham High Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony is scheduled for Fall 2023. Nominations forms will be available this summer.