Dear Williston Community,
It is with great sadness and a heavy heart that I report the passing of a highly respected and beloved member of our community. Al Lavalle, a 13-year employee in our Physical Plant Department, died on Sunday, November 25 after a long battle with colon cancer.
One of Al’s positions on campus was working in The Cage in the Athletic Center. It was there that he had a tremendous impact on Williston students and acquired such a great deal of respect that the yearbook was dedicated to him in 2007. Mr. Lavalle, a lover of athletics and a major presence in local youth sports leagues, bestowed life lessons on Williston students about integrity and treating others with respect. His positive effect on the lives of those in this community will long be felt.
On Monday, February 27, much to the amusement of the Williston Northampton School community, Boys Varsity Ice Hockey Coach Derek Cunha showed up for work with a thick mustache and newly shaven Mohawk.
The history behind Coach Cunha’s mustache and Mohawk dates to November 2011 when he and several of the boys hockey team grew mustaches in support of “Movember,” an event to raise awareness about men’s health.
Coach Cunha remembered it was fun seeing how their facial features changed by the day, in what he acknowledges wasn’t always the most attractive way. During “Movember” the team had two pre-season games in which they beat Academy St. Louis and South Kent. On December 1st the razors came out and the mustaches were gone.
“Go!” barked the trainer and 15 students took off across the rug. At the gym stairs they pivoted, set both feet, and raced back, arms pumping.
Standing off to one side, Steve Conca, founder and president of Conca Sport and Fitness, nodded in approval.
“They’re learning how to start correctly,” he said as two instructors moved among the 15 students, giving advice on form. “It doesn’t matter what sport these guys play, everybody wants to get a bit faster.”