ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS
Arthur NunesArt Nunes's tenure at North Attleboro High School began in 1969 when he joined Bob Guthrie's football coaching staff. The 1962 Attleboro HS grad had earned his Bachelor's degree in Education with a minor in Biology from the University of Rhode Island in 1966 before accepting a teaching position at Goff Jr. High, in Pawtucket, RI. He earned his MA in Educational Administration from Providence College in 1970. Although Nunes's first North Attleboro teaching position was at the NA Jr. High, he joined the High School Science Department when the new High School opened in the fall of 1973.
Excellence in Education
Mr. Nunes taught a variety of courses at all levels, including Chemistry, Earth Science and Introduction to Anatomy and Physiology, but it was in Honors Biology that he made his mark. Guided by his goal "to make it interesting, get students to work to their absolute best ability and take it from there," Mr. Nunes inspired a generation of students. Long-time colleague in the Science Department and 2010 Excellence in Education Award winner Bob Aussant remembers Nunes as "an excellent teacher who gave kids an excellent background in biology." In addition, Aussant recalls Nunes as "a fair department head who looked out for his teachers."
Coach Nunes spent two years coaching running backs and defensive backs on Guthrie's football staff, working along side Ray Beaupre, Ken Pickering and Tom Schmidt. Guthrie, who was a childhood friend of Nunes when the two lived on Bungay Lake, remembers Nunes as "an enthusiastic young coach who you could trust. The kids really enjoyed him," said Guthrie. In 1976, Nunes began his 24-year tenure as Varsity Golf coach. Some of his favorite career memories involve time spent after school in the coaches office, talking about sports and the kids on the various teams.
In 1991 Mr. Nunes took over as Science Department Head, a position he held until his retirement in 2001. For Nunes, the most enjoyable benefits of this role were "working with some of the best teachers in the school and learning by observing" as they practiced their craft. "Whether you’re a 10-year veteran or a 20-year veteran, you can always get better," claims Mr. Nunes.
Although he cannot cite one individual as his most influential mentor, Nunes credits the High School staff in totality with impacting his career. Outstanding educators like the Frutcheys and Mary Ellen Palenchar impressed him "by their effort and the quality of their work," and he credits Wilson Whitty and Ken Pickering "for working real hard to produce the best school they could."
Mr. Whitty recalls Nunes as "the consummate veteran professional science teacher and science department head. Art was always all business in his classroom but was also encouraging and supportive of his students." In addition, Whitty said, "His contributions at our weekly Department Head meetings were always positive and insightful."
Mr. Nunes has been enjoying his retirement along with his wife, Mary-Jane. Their two adult children, Lindsey and Josh, now live in Connecticut and Pawtucket respectively.
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