In Loving Memory of Mr. Roy

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In honor of Mr Roy's memory, four scholarships were given to FHS Seniors who are continuing their studies in the fields of Art, Advertising & Marketing, and Education.

congratulations to 2018 Award Recipients -  

  1. Gwendolyn calnan, Massachusetts college of art and design

  2. nicholas esposito, university of south carolina

  3. erin delgreco, framingham state university

  4. madison elliott, bridgewater state university

 

Tribute to Mr. Roy: Teacher, Mentor, Friend
Written and Compiled by Mary Greeley and Jenn Contois

For almost 30 years, Gerald Roy taught in the Foxboro Public Schools art program, eventually serving as department head. He taught everything from drawing and painting to sculpture to Photoshop and Illustrator. But those are only the things you’d find in his curriculum. While he made all of his students better artists, he taught us so much more about the world, life, and ourselves.

When Mr. Roy retired from his 35 year teaching career in 2012, some of his former students wrote letters to express their gratitude for him. At the time, we thought that was the hardest thing we had written. How could we truly convey to Mr. Roy exactly what he had done for each of us? Looking back on all those letters we were reminded of a mentor, friend, and the many memories we have of him. Writing this tribute is much harder than those letters ever were. Nearly impossible. How do we speak to his family, friends, and loved ones to properly let them know we are with them in the pain and sadness of losing such a genuine spirit?

We wanted to share some highlights of those letters and pictures as a reminder of the inspirational person we all had the honor of knowing.

“You listened to me and I always knew everything would be okay.”

–Danielle Baker, Class of 2009

“I don‘t know where I would be today if I did not have you to push me to do my best and give me the opportunities that I had in my years at FHS.”

–Ashley Burns, Class of 2009

“The relationship we had transcended that of student and teacher. I considered him a friend and mentor to me.”

–Brian Abdou, Class of 2009

“I was kind of a lost soul during high school until I found the wonderful environment you have created in the art department.”

–Drew Pillsbury, Class of 2006

“You are probably one of the most incredible teachers to pass through Foxborough High School. You somehow understand the balance of being a fun teacher that students enjoy while still being able to successfully teach them and have them grow.”

–Juliette Weiss, Class of 2011

"Mr. Roy had the ability to connect to his students and not only make them feel like they were performing well but also make them feel as though they mattered. His comedic approach to teaching broke down walls and built bridges that would last long after graduation."

–Justin Sulham, Class of 2000

“Unlike some, he refuses to accept mediocrity, forcing his students to work to their full potential. He thrives on watching his students excel in art, as well as other aspects of their lives. And he does not do this because he is a teacher, but rather because he is a friend who has a genuine interest in his students.”

–Matt Kominsky, Class of 2011

“It was evident that Mr. Roy was an amazing teacher by the numerous awards won by his students. But what was also evident was that he was an amazing father. His pride in his children showed in his own artwork. His strong fatherly demeanor carried through to his students as he was always pushing you to your greatest potential.”

–Jenn Contois, Class of 2007

“I never would have discovered how much beauty there truly is in the world around me. I would not be who or where I am today without you. And I thank you for that with all my heart.”

–Mary Greeley, Class of 2009

“Without Gerry's challenge to be my better self, I could never have headed West to embrace a life writing for Family Guy, working in the film industry, but most importantly, becoming Art Teacher. I carry the responsibility to see deeper into students the way Gerry did with me. And I know what they don't yet believe themselves. They all contain magic. Art is magic kept in the prison of fears, and it's belief that allows us to let our treasures out.”

–Andrew Gormley, Class of 1992

These former students and their words are only a small sample of the many lives Mr. Roy helped to shape. We range from his first years in Foxboro schools to his very last as students in Drawing, Painting, Printmaking, Sculpture, or CBAD. In our lives now as graphic designers, art enthusiasts, or fellow art educators, Mr. Roy left a powerful and lasting impression on each of us: to foster our creativity in any medium, to find beauty in every corner of the world, and to express our true selves through our art. To Gerry Roy - your lessons, friendship, love, and art have been a cherished blessing to us all.

The accompanying images show Mr. Roy throughout the years with many of the students he continues to inspire. Additional memories and photos can be found on the memorial Facebook page, “Remembering Mr. Roy”, and all are welcome to contribute.