Former teacher's legacy remembered with library dedication
Appleton — Beverly Moody retired after 35 years of teaching at Appleton Village School in 1997, but she will always be remembered there.
Thursday, April 17, the school dedicated its library in memory of Moody, who died last November. With her children and grandchildren in attendance, fifth-grade teacher Tammy King presented to the family a plaque that will be put up in the library. It reads, “To honor her memory and 35 years of dedicated teaching, the Beverly Moody Library will endure as a symbol of our gratitude and appreciation. April 2014”
When King was a new teacher at Appleton 19 years ago, she was mentored by Moody, and she recalls being encouraged and inspired by her. It was sometimes daunting for a first-year teacher to have 27 students in one class, and King was glad to have Moody's experience to rely on.
“I could walk into her classroom at any time, and she was always welcoming.”
King said Moody was generous with both time and money. She remembered Friday morning chats over coffee in the teachers' room.
Moody understood, she said, that reading was the gateway to other things, and would teach not just reading, but other subjects as well through books. King said she got many tips about how to teach reading from her.
She said Moody had given $2,000 to the school library in her will, and she and some of the other teachers, along with secretary Marty Christie, who was Moody's neighbor, wanted to dedicate the library to her.
In her turn, King has taught two of Moody's grandchildren, Jack and Katie Moody.
Michele Dostie, Beverly Moody's daughter, said her mother also taught in Rockland for several years and was acting principal at Appleton for a time. “She just absolutely loved to read,” Dostie said, often gave books as gifts and was an active supporter of Gibbs Library in Washington, where she lived.
It was not unusual for her to receive emails from former students expressing their gratitude for her interest in them as youngsters, Dostie said.
She added that people still come up to her and say, “Your mom, she was a hard teacher, but she was the best teacher I ever had.”
Moody's son, Chris Moody, said of his mother, “Her whole life was education, whether it was teaching, or being on the SAD 40 school board.”
Christie had her own story of being influenced by Beverly Moody. As neighbors in Washington, they served together on the Washington Scholarship Committee. One time, Moody told her that the Appleton school was looking for an educational technician, so Christie applied, and that was how she came to the school. Later she became the school secretary.
“She was a lovely lady,” Christie said.
Following the dedication, students performed for the family during an assembly in the gym.
Sarah E. Reynolds is copy editor for the Courier Gazette and Camden Herald.
Sarah E. Reynolds has been a reporter and writer for more than 20 years, winning awards from the Maine Press Association and other professional organizations. She loves to read, ride her ATV and play word games.