MANCHESTER, N.H. – The COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t stop a celebration for a Manchester education legend, it just made it a bit more socially distanced.
On a grey Tuesday morning, colleagues and community members gathered outside Manchester Memorial High School to honor Arthur Adamakos on the final day of his four-decade educational career in Manchester.
In addition to serving as principal at Memorial for 23 years, Adamakos was also a social studies teacher at Memorial and Hillside, a principal at Manchester West and an Assistant Superintendent in addition to other roles.
“Your love of students has shone through everything you do,” said Memorial Assistant Vice Principal Mary-Jo Bourque, one of the masters of ceremonies for the event.
Manchester Mayor and 1985 Memorial Graduate Joyce Craig shared memories of Adamakos with the assembled crowd and also shared a resolution dedicating June 30 as Arthur Adamakos Day in Manchester.
“It was a great ceremony to celebrate everything that Mr. Adamakos has done, not just for students, but for teachers and the community overall,” said Craig. “It was so great to be here not only to celebrate Mr. A, but also to see so many teachers and administrators and thank them for all they’ve done and thank them for the impact they’ve had on my life. It just goes to show how important teachers are to our community.”
Manchester Board of School Committee Member and former Memorial Vice Principal Peter Perich also thanked Adamakos by announcing a sign for what potentially could be a street named Adamakos’ honor soon in Manchester.
Adamakos joked that he hoped the rain could reduce the crowd a little bit or that there would be some kind of monetary compensation in lieu of the ceremony, hinting at his preference to do his job without any fanfare. Still, he appreciated seeing old colleagues and told the audience that he was doing everything he could to help facilitate things for his successor.
“I didn’t really expect all of this to be honest. I just wanted to leave, have someone say ‘great job’ and go home like I do every day,” he said. “It was nice to see the variety and number of individuals here for my last day.”
Adamakos is also known for his volunteering work with extra-curricular events like football and basketball games but said it was too soon to know whether what his future presence might be at the school. He stated that he might be around given the fact that he still lives in Manchester but he hopes to give whoever the next principal is some latitude to do the job in their own way.