Staff from each of the district's schools, as well as Mayor Edward Sullivan, school committee members and district administrators, gathered on June 25, 2014 in the West Springfield High School gymnasium for a surprise send off for Superintendent Russell Johnston. Upon entering the school, attendees signed a giant 15' banner, which was displayed in the gym and presented to Dr. Johnston. Assistant Superintendent Kevin McQuillan served as master of ceremonies. Mayor Edward Sullivan shared remarks and announced the establishment of the "Dr. Russell D. Johnston Scholarship." He also presented Dr. Johnston with a brick from the old high school. In addition, the program featured a slideshow comprised of photos from Dr. Johnston's tenure as superintendent, and heartfelt remarks by Dr. Johnston, followed by numerous group photographs.
The goal of the scholarship committee was to raise $2,015, which will be equally divided between one male and one female graduate of the Class of 2015 who choose to pursue a career in education. The School Department reports that while the goal has been met, additional contributions will continue to be accepted for the "Russell D. Johnston Scholarship" for the Class of 2016.
Anyone wishing to make a scholarship donation may write a check payable to West Springfield Public Schools; please write Dr. Johnston Scholarship in the memo line. Donations may be dropped off or sent to Karen Ware in the School Department, 26 Central Street, West Springfield 01089. Please call 263-3300 for more information.