It was as if Doug Monsell demanded the weather gods to give their best Friday afternoon when the official dedication of a new patio at the Bayport-Blue Point High School was held in his honor.
Monsell, a district business teacher and coach, died last spring after a valiant battle with liver disease.
Eagle Scout Chandler Varone dedicated his Eagle project in the business teacher's memory, collecting more than $13,000 for brick patio and lunch tables effort.
About half the funds raised by Varone paid for the project, with many local businesses donating everything from services and equipment, with the rest of the funding donated to a special education fund for Monsell's two young daughters.
During the standing-room-only half-hour ceremony, attended by board of education members, teachers, administrators, family and friends, Monsell was remembered for his love of teaching, his ability to connect with students, his ever-present smile and his great enthusiasm for his job and for the community.
Bayport-Blue Point High School Principal Tim Hearney said Varone's efforts were reflective of the leadership Monsell showed in the four years in the district. Both Monsell and Varone "demonstrate true leadership."
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In thanking all his project supporters Varone said "many people made this day happen," and listed out a long thank-you note to local businesses.
"I spent four days with Mr. Monsell [during a business class field trip] and we became like a family. He gave me alot of encouragment. He was someone who played a huge part in my life," said Varone.
His words were echoed by Hearney who said Monsell "truly left an imprint as a great friend and colleague and he is truly missed."
"He taught us all what it meant to be a good person," he added, "and he lived life to the fullest."
Board of Education President James March, who called Monsell his best friend, wore a Jets shirt in honor of his friend's passion for the New York football team.
"I feel his presence here today. We will hold him dear to our hearts forever," said March.
Varone's scouting troop ceremoniously folded and presented the Monsell family with a Jets flag as part of the moving tribute and the high school jazz choir sang an emotional Irish ballad during the ceremony.