Bertrand G. Bolduc
Mr. Bolduc and his wife Theresa at the 2011 “Celebrating Our Pioneer Spirit” Gala.
In 2006, the Saint John’s community presented its Theodore James Ryken Award to Bertrand G. Bolduc in recognition of his devotedness to the mission of the Xaverian Brothers Sponsored Schools. The award recognizes an adult member of the school community who, by her or his commitment, strives:
— To proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ
— To participate in the school’s community of faith and to nurture members of the community
— To be committed to academic excellence and to recognize the talents of individuals
— To recognize the importance of educating the whole person
— To fulfill the Gospel call to peace and justice.
At the time, his peers commented: “Although he has been at Saint John’s fewer than ten years, he was born to be a Pioneer. It just took him longer than some to follow the call he was meant to heed. A gentle, compassionate gentleman in the fullest sense of the word, Bert is the consummate teacher, demanding, prepared, passionate for his subject and interested in sharing his passion with his students. A regular at sports events, concerts and drama productions, the students know that he is interested in them as individuals and in the talents they are developing. Well respected by the faculty, Bert never utters an unkind word about anyone. On the contrary, he praises and encourages their efforts, is interested in their personal lives and in the lives of their families. Bert is a man of faith who makes the Gospel message come to life in each person he encounters. A devoted husband, a loving father, a caring and talented teacher and committed Christian, Bert Bolduc defines the Xaverian charism. How lucky we are to have had him share the end of his career with all of us at Saint John’s. We are all better for having shared community with him.”
Tonight we honor Bert once again as he completes an amazing 50-year stint as a full-time mathematics teacher. Unflagging devotion, dogged determination, competence and care have marked Bert’s long teaching career. From junior high mathematics to Advanced Placement calculus, Bert has done it all and done it superbly well.
Respect, above all, has been the cornerstone for Bertrand G. Bolduc throughout his life. Born in the Grafton Hill area of Worcester, he attended Assumption Prep where, among other things, he played basketball under the tutelage of legendary Coach Charlie Bibaud. Bert was 14 years old and Charlie, his coach, was a mere 19. This player-coach relationship sparked a lifelong friendship. Bert was captain of the basketball team his senior year and he went on to play for Holy Cross for a year. He ultimately transferred to Worcester State College, where he played basketball for his final three years of school. Bert was elected team captain his senior year. In 2007 he was inducted into the Worcester State College Athletic Hall of Fame.
Bert met his beloved wife of 48 years, Theresa Breen Bolduc, at Worcester State College. Together, they raised five children — Chris, Mary Beth, Julie, Phil and Ellen — who have always fondly referred to him as “Pop.” Their most treasured memories were the countless camping trips taken all over the country … seven people in one station wagon, no matter how far away the destination!
Today, Bert and Theresa enjoy eight wonderful grandchildren, whom they support in all of their activities, including tutoring. Bert’s children, reflecting upon their lives, express thanks for the sense of closeness they enjoy. They credit their parents for fostering strong family ties and desire to care for one another as adults.
Hard work was always part of the life of Bert Bolduc. He was always working more than one job in order to support his family. He began his teaching career at Forest Grove Middle School in 1961 and retired from public school teaching in 1999. He dedicated 38 years to teaching math in Worcester, the final 24 at Doherty Memorial High School. Bert enjoyed his years of teaching in Worcester. During his years at Doherty, he taught four of his five children in math and they reflect that he was quite clear about treating them as equals to their peers.
In addition to the Ryken Award in 2006, Bert has received several other awards during his teaching career. In 1994 he was honored as an “Outstanding Educator” by the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science. In 1996 he was chosen as “Educator of the Year” by the Massachusetts Alliance for Education. He was also voted “Teacher of the Year” twice while at Doherty Memorial High School.
Mr. Bolduc is often referred to as “The Man” by his students. He commands great respect from his students and stands as a great example of a man with high moral and ethical values, a man who cherishes family and a man of faith. Self-respect is the gift he handed on to thousands of students over his years as an educator. High expectations set in the classroom enabled students to grow in character as well as academically.
For the last 13 years, Bert Bolduc has supported all aspects of the Saint John’s community. He has thoroughly enjoyed the Saint John’s community and his camaraderie with fellow teachers and administrators. This will be his last year of teaching and he will be greatly missed. He has left an indelible mark upon the teaching community of Worcester and upon the Saint John’s community.
From the “Celebrating Our Pioneer Spirit” Gala Program Book, 2011.