When Principal William Freeman?s picture appeared in the local papers in April showing him sitting on the roof of his school, it showed the integrity of the educator.
I had met Bill last Thanksgiving when I attended a Senior Thanksgiving Day Party at his School, Westbrook Middle School. Checking in at the office, a gentle giant of a man offered to take me down the labyrinth of halls to the meeting place. On the way, maintaining a cheery conversation, he introduced himself as Bill Freeman and casually mentioned that he was the principal. Knowing that I was a stranger and alone, he made sure that I was safely ensconced with friendly people and checked up on my well being several times during the festivities. They had several hundred people there.
It was only natural that after seeing his picture, I asked for an interview to get the complete story. It was only natural that this warm hearted principal granted it!
In order to spur his students and staff on a project that he had offered to assist in for another school, this innovator challenged his group to fill a barrel full of aluminum pop tabs from soda cans. If they met this challenge for someone they didn?t know, he volunteered to sit on the roof of the school for the day. One has to take their hat off to this motivator. He sat on the roof! He even shared a lunch with Principal Oscar Diaz of Memorial School (on the roof of course).
Always looking to help people, especially his students, Bill learned from Principal Joseph Roma of Parkway School that they were trying to raise a million soda pop tabs to raise funds to donate towards Parkway?s fourth grader Kimberly Edson?s need for blood. The tabs would be donated to Ronald McDonald House who would recycle and cash them in. Kimberly is the young patient mentioned in our Community Blood Services article. She requires a blood transfusion every three weeks. If you met Kimberly, a vivacious young lady, you would immediately go over to 970 Linwood Avenue West and donate blood for her.
Our roof-climbing principal placed a garbage can in the main office and broadcast to the entire Westbrook occupants that if they could fill the garbage can within 30 days, he would work on the roof for one day. They did; he did!