In Honor of Don Fried

In honor of Don Fried and his three decades at Poughkeepsie Day School:

  • Past and present colleagues, students, parents and trustees gathered from far and wide
  • Sidereal sang
  • Reminiscences were shared and new memories made
  • Alumni brought their children to meet him
  • and Don’s service to the school and its generations of students was recognized, celebrated and appreciated

It was a great evening.

Mike Foley and Mark Burns performed an hilarious skit that imagined Don hired by a quite different institution: providing guidance for a violent but hapless prison inmate writing an appeal to the parole board. This fictional Don provided support, grammatical counsel , content analysis and an unflappable calm in the face of dire need. They captured the essence of Don’s kindness, sincerity and expertise as English teacher, college counselor, gourmet cook and lover of music and theater.

Don was hired in 1977 as a mid year appointment to the English department. His colleague at Tabor Academy, Gerard Finn, wrote in a reference: “There have been few teachers I have known who have given themselves so wholeheartedly to their jobs. The authority, confidence and expertise he displayed…were evident to all and he had the wholehearted appreciation of his students…I consider Mr. Fried a scholar, an expert in his own field, and a person who is ideally suited to teaching.”

I spoke to Richard Hansen – the former PDS Director (1977-1985) who hired Don. Unable to attend the event he sent a warm tribute saying,”…I wish I could be there in person to give you a big hug. You were the luckiest thing ever to happen to a … neophyte hiring his very first teacher and you have made a huge contribution to this fine school for three decades. Congratulations and enjoy the appreciation.”

Don was, and is, respected, admired and beloved.

Here are a few pictures of the occasion.

And a note to any alumni who may be reading this: Recognize anyone? How do you remember Don? We would love to heard from you and how you are doing. Please stay in touch and help us make contact with your classmates. Thank-you.

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