To say he dedicated his life to teaching is clearly an understatement. With West Haven now as my hometown, when people meet me and recognize my name they quickly ask if I am related to the teacher Mr. Paone, and then proceed to tell me he was their favorite teacher and usually add in a story about how he inspired them and I can tell by the detail of their story that he had truly left a lasting impression on them, this happens often.
He was also an accomplished Jazz piano player, a self-proclaimed “Saloon Singer”, the smile on his face when he was sitting at a piano with a scotch was unmistakably telling of a man that loved playing. Even at his darkest moment when his hands were failing him he found a way to adapt so no one really knew how it was affecting him. With that being said, in what little time he had when he wasn’t teaching you could find him behind a piano at a bar in the New Haven jazz scene.
Then the cancer came, and his battle, and his death.
With all the work he had done in his life educating and entertaining through science and music I wanted to continue to build his legacy so In the year of his death I started personally funding scholarships at West Haven High School in his name, one for a basic senior scholarship then increasing the amount to2 scholarships to be given to 2 seniors, one for excellence in performing arts and one for interest in Science. I will continue to fund these scholarships but now on the 10th anniversary of his death I would like to create a larger self-sustaining endowment fund in his name. It is my intention that this fund will provide several small scholarships annually to students at both West Haven High School and also Notre Dame High School as well as provide the needed funding to sustain his Eco-Camp for many years to come.
If you ever met the man, had him as a teacher, heard him lecture on ecology, heard him play the piano or been on the opposite end of a spirited discussion with him, please find it in your heart to donate to this cause. Amount is high, but that is what I have determined is necessary to fund an endowment that will be capable of providing scholarships and also grow thru the years.
- Karen Kennedy
- Lena Smith parker
- Tracey Chieffo
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