By Amelia Tarallo
Hometown Weekly Special Correspondent
Outside of family members, there are few individuals in the lives of children as profoundly impactful as teachers. They learn and grow together. They build routines together. They share experiences, jokes, and observations together.
In times of sadness, they also grieve together.
Recently, attendees of the Medfield Afterschool Program (MAP) and members of the community suffered a devastating loss after Sean Moore, a MAP teacher, passed away.
Moore lost his life in February at the age of 29, leaving behind not only family and friends, but a plethora of dedicated students. Kurt Jackson, one of Moore’s co-workers and the director of MAP, knows just how important Moore was to the kids. When describing his late co-worker, Jackson recalled that Moore “was always a positive person. Always had good things to say about the kids.”
His death left a lasting impact on those who knew him.
Jackson wanted to do something to memorialize the young teacher, and spoke to Kevin Ryder, the director of Parks and Recreation, to suggest placing a garden memorial in front of the Pfaff Center. “We wanted the kids to be able to drive by and see it,” Jackson commented on the idea.
Soon, a bake sale was organized to raise money for the memorial garden. The bake sale had no set prices - instead, patrons gave what they could to support the cause. Parents, strangers, and those who knew Moore donated money. The group raised over $1,000, and soon the work began.
The garden could not have been completed without volunteers who serendipitously found out about the situation, completely by accident. “It’s wonderful how these people helped with the cause,” said Jackson, “completely dropping what they were doing to help.”
Samantha Levoy was at North Street Market when she met Jackson, where he had been taking some of the MAP kids to get a treat. Levoy and Jackson started talking. She revealed that she was a landscaper with her own business, Rooted by Nature. Jackson told her about the garden that they were trying to plant in honor of Moore. Levoy was eager to help out, and not just by giving advice on what to plant. She visited the space in front of the Pfaff Center that had been set aside for the garden. Within a week of meeting Jackson, Levoy was planning the placement of different flora, pouring soil, and planting radiant flowers.
The next step was to add a granite bench donated by Moore’s parents. Welding Works, a local company, showed up at the garden on the Monday after the flowers were planted. Their only job was to move the very heavy bench from Moore’s house to the garden. After delivering and placing the bench in the garden, the men realized that the garden needed stepping stones. Unexpectedly, they appeared in Jackson’s office the next day with a surprise delivery: a few stepping stones for the garden.
When Jackson began the project of creating a memorial garden for Sean Moore, he focused on finishing it before the kids, who adored Moore so much, got out of school for the summer.
The kids who left school on June 18 drove past the lovely array of flowers planted in honor of their beloved teacher.
Sean Moore’s coworkers describe him as being an extraordinarily positive person who brought joy to his students. Today, his memorial will inspire happiness to those who see it - and provide a peaceful place to sit and ponder the wonderful world in which we live.