Bristol, CONNECTICUT, U.S.A. — St. Paul Catholic High School won’t be the same next year.
William Hyland, a drafting teacher and coach who spent 27 years at the school, died suddenly in May, leaving a void that many say can’t be filled.
As former coach of the football, wrestling and girls basketball teams, Mr. Hyland was dedicated, touching many lives with volunteer work from the city soup kitchen to school athletic events.
“Mr. Hyland was my favorite teacher,” sophomore Kevin Rivenburgh said. “He will never be replaced in my mind.”
Maybe it was the special way in which Mr. Hyland regarded people that made him one of the best-liked teachers at St. Paul — or maybe it was his generosity or wry sense of humor.
“Bill know the score in the game of life,” said St. Paul English teacher Roland Corbin, who was a close friend of Mr. Hyland.
Troubled students sought out Mr. Hyland for help.
“He’d always ask how I was doing and help solve my problems,” said senior Peter Zelek.
“I remember canoeing on Pine Lake, summer of ’94,” said Corbin. “We watched a crane sail across the waters and disappear towards the preserves on the south side of the lake.”
Corbin said Mr. Hyland had a knack for “always finding the positive” in young people.
“I have the last lav pass he ever gave out,” said senior Jim Tabellione. “It was 10 minutes before he collapsed. I’m keepin’ it forever.”
Shauna Fauchon is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.