Photo: Belmont senior student-athletes (from left) Preston Jackson-Stephens, Ali Noorouzi and Brett Stievater present outgoing Athletic Director Jim Davis with a specialized Boston Red Sox uniform at his retirement.
For the past two decades, Belmont High Athletic Director Jim Davis could be found at every sort of field sports played on Harris Field (as well as games at the Wenner Field House and the Higgenbottom pool to name a few others) watching and cheering on Marauder squads from the sidelines.
On Wednesday, June 2, at halftime of the Marauders Boys’ Rugby match with St. John’s Prep, Davis was once again at Harris Field but this time to be recognized by student-athletes and coaches for his 19 years as Athletic Director and Head of Physical Education for the Belmont School District.
Davis joined 11 fellow educators and staff who were recognized for their more than 200 years of combined service to the district by the Belmont School Committee and the school district on their retirement.
Hosted by Belmont educator and athletic trainer Sarkis Asadoorian, the ceremony while short in time was heartfelt and touching as the presenters welcomed Davis back after he was away from Belmont due to illness.
“We definitely miss you all this year, on behalf of the student section, seeing you at our games, talking about scores throughout the school day. And, man, I’m just very happy to have you back on this field. You’re a great person,” said senior Preston Jackson-Stephens as he and student captains presented Davis with a plaque and a customized Boston Red Sox uniform with the number 19 and his last name.
”This is just a special place,” Davis said after the ceremony. “I’ve been blessed to be able to have the opportunity to serve the school district and the community at Belmont, having great teachers, great coaches, and the best students and community support that is just second to none.”
“Words can’t express my gratitude and appreciation for these past 19 years,” said Davis.
With spare time now on his hands, Davis is leaning towards learning how to fly aircraft, “but more importantly to spending quality time with my family before we – he and his wife, Carolyn – are empty-nesters, before the kids (daughters Allison and Kylie) are done with their college careers. And I also want to spend some quality time with my dad who’s in his early 90s who lives in New Hampshire.”
The school committee and the district presented their virtual accolades to the dozen leaving (or have already left) at the end of the school year. Along with Davis, the educators and staff include:
- Heather Blake, school nurse at Burbank Elementary, 23 years.
- Romario Castro, Chenery building custodian, 12 years.
- Joan DiPace, kindergarten assistant at Wellington Elementary, 13 years.
- Jennifer Duffy, Integrated Preschool Program, 15 years.
- Cynthia Femino, administrative assistant at Belmont High School, 22 years.
- Cathy Grant, executive administrative assistant to the superintendent, 21 years.
- Robin Hines, library aide at Burbank Elementary, 15 years.
- Dr. David Learner, school psychologist at the Chenery, 17 years.
- Alice Melnikoff, Community Service Coordinator, 23 years.
- Hester Murray, special education educator at Winn Brook Elementary, 24 years.
- Patty Soliozy, maths director for grades 5-12, 14 years.
To read each of the extraordinary resolutions for the retirees, head over the the school committee’s web page.