The following dedication by Molly Newton was originally published in The Williston Northampton School 2007 Log.
Please and thank you, two simple little words we all could spell by third grade. two simple little words many of us forgot sometime in those long years between third grade and our arrival at Williston; two simple words that Al Lavalle constantly reminded us to say, and never let us get away with forgetting.
The lessons we learned every day from Al at The Cage will stick with us for life. Al has made us accountable for our actions: turn in your uniform late, do push ups. Hoard towels or socks in your locker for an entire season, and there will be none for you to take the next day. Give respect, get respect. Years from now when we are all (hopefully) a little more grown up, we will remember the lessons that Al made stick. We will remember to say please and thank you, we will remember to turn in our towels at the 24-hour fitness center, we will know how to treat the people who help us. We will remember Al. We were a tough crowd, but Al has managed to make his lessons stick.
Al is the second Dad we wish we all had. Never condescending, always funny, he is the person at Williston we all go to for advice. Like Lucy from Peanuts (although he has yet to actually collect the 5 cents he proclaims to charge), Al is always read to give advice on boyfriends, classes, coaches, parents, teammates, college, bad grades, the proper manner to fold socks, the location of the bags, and the locker combinations we never remembered. Al has truly lived life, and is always read to help us get through it all. The hardest days are always a little easier after a trip to The Cage.
We, the Class of 2007, dedicate the yearbook to the man who has survived everything, crazy cage assistants, our break ups and hook ups, not to mention the football and hockey teams. The guy we laugh with, the guy we cry to, and the guy we will always remember—Al is a true teacher in every sense of the word, and for this, we dedicate our senior yearbook to Al Lavalle.
Anonymous 2007 Quotes:
“What do you say about a person who has made such an impact on you? For me, Al has been a confidante, a teacher, a psychiatrist (thank god he only charges $0.10 a session!), and a friend. Al offers insight and guidance into just about every part of life. On ‘the other side of the pond’ he is the person you can count on, because whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas!”
“You can’t place Al into a category; you can’t put words down on a paper to describe what he has done for the students and the school. It’s his presence that makes him such an important figure to us.”
“He works hard each and every week to get the athletes their uniforms and equipment. Even if you don’t do sports he is always there with a smile. He always takes time for us kids whether it be advice, gossip, or just talking. Al seems to be loving life and it’s just awesome to see a really chill adult with a genuine interest in our well being.”