In conjunction with the paper’s 18th anniversary, Milton Times Publisher Pat Desmond and the staff of the paper hosted an event Dec. 6 celebrating community service. Milton Times Salutes Community Service was held at The Common Market restaurant to honor those who have volunteered their time and effort to benefit the town.
The guest list included those who have continued to commit their resources for the good of the community.
Approximately 75 people were able to attend the dinner party. “We are honoring everyone at the party as Community Givers,” said Desmond.
“These are people who have donated their time, talent and often their money to the community. We are grateful to those people who have been stalwart supporters of the paper.”
Desmond added the event will become an annual celebration for the community.
The highlight of the evening was the awarding of the inaugural True Miltonian Award to longtime School Committee member and community volunteer Lynda-Lee Sheridan. Sheridan, who was unaware she would be singled out for the honor, has served the town in many volunteer capacities. She is now in her eighth year on the School Committee, this being her third term.
She currently serves as the chair of the committee. Sheridan grew up in Milton as Lynda-Lee Baker, and lives with her husband Robert in her childhood home on Clifton Road.
Her days of volunteerism began when her two sons, Conor and Andrew, now in their late 20s, attended Cunningham Elementary School. Sheridan served as president of the school’s PTO, and went on to serve on the School Site Council at both Pierce Middle School and Milton High School. Most recently, along with her duties as School Committee chair, Sheridan headed the town’s 350th Anniversary Committee, and now serves on the We Are Milton Committee which was launched this year to annually celebrate the town’s birthday with fireworks and music.
Along with the many hours she dedicates to community service, Sheridan has a challenging career as the principal of Franklin D. Roosevelt K-8 School in Hyde Park. She holds a degree in special education and taught in the field for several years. One might wonder, with all that on her plate, how does Sheridan find the time to do it all?
“I don’t require a lot of sleep,” she joked in a recent phone interview. “I do have a lot of responsibility, especially at work. But I enjoy juggling all these things because they are things I am passionate about,” Sheridan said. Those who have worked with her know that statement to be true, as Sheridan’s energy has helped many causes, including the campaign to renovate all the town’s public schools. One of the people she has worked closely with over the years is Superintendent of Schools Mary Gormley, who first got to know Sheridan when Gormley was the principal and Sheridan was an active parent at Cunningham School. Now the two are in daily contact with Sheridan’s role on the School Committee.
“I am always astounded and amazed at her involvement in the town, in her church, in her career,” said Gormley. “She is selfless in her dedication to the town. “When I deal with her, I know her judgment is sound. And she does all of it with a smile. She is always positive.” The sentiment is shared by Desmond, who worked with Sheridan on the town’s 350th Anniversary Committee.
Desmond continues to work with Sheridan on the We Are Milton Committee.
“Lynda-Lee does so much in town, and she doesn’t get anything back for it,” Desmond said, when asked why she decided to plan the event and to honor Sheridan. “This event is to honor people and to get people thinking about community service.”
Sheridan appeared surprised at the event when Desmond presented her with the award, which reads: “True Miltonian Award, Presented To Lynda-Lee Sheridan, 2013, For Community Spirit and Conscious Giving.” Sheridan stated that her family has been very supportive over the years, such as holding campaign signs during election seasons. She added that she probably won’t seek reelection to the School Committee when her term expires in 2015.
“Each volunteer opportunity is an opportunity to meet new people,” Shericontinued dan explained. “It is a blessing to get to know so many great people.” The Milton Times will be publishing a supplement to the paper in January on those who dedicate themselves to community service.