MANCHESTER, N.H. – On Thursday, former students, colleagues and other well-wishers gathered at the home of retired Manchester West teacher Roland Vigneault on Thursday to thank him for his 26 years of service to the Queen City.
Vigneault taught at West as a student teacher in 1957 only to find that there were no jobs in Manchester at that time, eventually settling into a position at West. A native of Keene, one day in 1963 he attended a high school football game between Keene and West and discovered a position teaching economics had opened up at West, a job he would hold until his retirement in 1988.
Organized by Class of 1979 West graduates Jerome Duval and Ernie Yerrington, the celebration was impromptu with little reason other than a love for their former teacher and the fact that they may not have much longer to thank for him for all he’s done given the fact that he’s now 95 years old.
“He’s just one of those teachers you never forget,” said Duval. “We never forget our experiences with him as a teacher and even after 30 years retired, we wanted to remind him how much we care about him.”
Vigneault says he still receives phone calls from former students now living in places like Arizona, Florida and Louisiana, but says he never expected a moment of gratitude like Thursday.
“This was a total surprise and total joy for an old man to find out that people still love him at 95,” he said. “I’m thankful for everyone organizing this. I have great members of teaching, they were the greatest years of my life.