Students Pay Last Respects to School Advocate Lyons

Members of Haverhill High School’s Junior ROTC served as an honor guard at the calling hours of Vietnam veteran Michael V. Lyons.

Haverhill High School’s Junior ROTC turned out to honor school advocate Michael V. Lyons Thursday morning. Lyons, who passed away Sunday at age 70, was instrumental in securing citizen support for building the new Hunking School, said Superintendent James F. Scully.

“When I first learned of the instability of the Hunking School, one afternoon this grey haired distinguished gentleman with a New York accent appeared in my office and introduced himself to me. I wondered who is this man with that New York accent,” Scully said in a memo to staff Tuesday.

“He told me he was very skeptical of the Hunking issue as he felt that the voters would not support it. So, we sat and we chatted. I was confident that if we presented the issue correctly, if we told the citizens the facts in a straight and direct fashion the people of Haverhill would support it. We spoke for a couple of hours. He extended his hand to me and said, ‘I am with you,’ Scully wrote.

The superintendent said Lyons came to every planning meeting, knocked on doors and continued to attend School Committee meetings up to last Thursday. “He was ‘in the fight,’ always out there trying to help so many of us in the schools get the needs of our children addressed.”

“So, it is with very deep sadness that we as a school system, and I as a friend, say goodbye to a New Yorker who loved and enjoyed this city and its’ people so very much,” Scully concluded.