Brian Foley and Tom Danna wrap up their decades of teaching.
Combined, Tom Danna
P'99,'02 and Brian Foley
'69, P'07 have taught 88 years - 79 of them at Saint John's High School. Both giants in the faculty, they announced their retirement this spring, and finish up their decades of motivating and inspiring their students in the classroom.
Tom began teaching in 1973 at Holy Name High School before moving to Worcester Vocational in 1979 where he set up science laboratories and taught biology. In 1981, he joined the faculty of Saint John's, teaching chemistry and biology. While here, he started the Chess Club and served as the soccer and lacrosse assigner and co-site administrator/ timer. His sons Anthony '99 and Mark '02 are graduates of the school.
Tom traces his love of teaching and science to his own high school experience. He is still moved by "the challenge of being able to open minds to the unforeseen and the world of how the body functions and interacts with its surroundings. To this day, I remain excited about the dynamics of the classroom, its ever changing rhythms, and the love of learning."
Brian Foley's family has been tied to Saint John's for more than eight decades, including his father J. Gerard Foley '32, father-in-law Joe Garvey '51, mother-in-law Jeanne Garvey (former school treasurer), brothers Mike '63, John '65, and Gerard '71, brothers-in-law Joe Garvey '69 and Jim Garvey '73, many nephews, and son Mike ’07. Brian considers the last six years spent teaching with Mike "one of the true blessings of my teaching career."
Brian is a member of the class of 1969 and began his teaching career in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps at Gonzaga Prep in Spokane, WA in 1973. The next fall, he returned to his alma mater and has been a Religious Studies teacher ever since. Brian has guided students through World Religions, Scripture, Church and Sacraments, Bioethics, Morality and Justice.
Brian coached soccer for 28 years; 19 as varsity coach, seeing his teams through six districts championships, one state title (1985), and four team sportsmanship awards awarded by the Central Mass. Soccer Referees. He also served as the JV baseball coach for 15 years and was inducted into the SJ Athletic Hall of Fame. Outside of the classroom and off the field, Brian assisted with intramurals, ran the beloved SJ Summer Camp for 10 years, served as Dean of Students 1999 to 2004, chaired the Religious Studies department for the past six years, and was honored with the Ryken Award. On his students, players, and colleagues, Brian reflects, "they have taught me so much more than I ever taught them."
Tom and Brian, thank you for your many years of dedication to teaching, care for your students, and passion for your vocation!