Remembering Mr. O'Brien
Remembering Mr. O’Brien
On October 16, Hopewell Elementary School lost a treasured member of our staff and family, Mr. Dan O’ Brien. He was a teacher who was cherished by his students and known as, “Mr. O’.” Mr. O’Brien was a teacher who influenced the lives of others by a humble and quiet tone. He gained the trust of his students. You could find him on any given day singing and playing his guitar throughout the hallways of Hopewell. He brought sunshine to all who knew him and many would remark about the patience, wisdom and understanding he extended to all. What made Mr. O’Brien so special you may ask? Perhaps it was the way in which he would extend a helping hand to anyone who needed it. Maybe it was the Hip, Hip- Hooray, It’s Friday greeting he would sing to the students and staff as they entered the building on a Friday. We could not forget the holidays he celebrated dressing up such as Halloween and Christmas to bring a smile to Hopewell as he visited every class. You could see him at the annual Moms and Muffins, Dads and Donuts and the Special Persons Breakfast playing his guitar as well as greeting guests. He was always one of the first people at Hopewell in the morning. Mr. O’s colleagues remember him as a kind and gentle soul. The students remember him as a role model, one who was always in their corner and would give a high-five or fist bump to encourage them throughout the day. He was motivating through his incentives such as a game of basketball.
He mentored teachers and students over the years. He had a gift with students in making connections and they were his life. He would often share Mrs. O’s brownies and this certainly provided students with an incentive and yes, the adults, too. Mr. O’Brien spent time volunteering at the Lighthouse Youth Center after school and assisting students with their homework. He also would volunteer his time for Reading nights at Hopewell. He enjoyed his chocolate and Coca-Cola. So what really made him so very special? If you ask those who knew him the best, they would say his connections to the students and his ability to reach those students through his gentle voice as well as his caring ways. He was a humble man who believed in spreading joy to others and putting his students first. We are grateful for the time we were able to spend with Mr. O’Brien at Hopewell. Mr. O’Brien’s legacy with live on through the lessons learned by his many students over the years as well as the dedication he showed to each student. Thank you, Mr. O’ and we will always remember you as a special part of the Hopewell School Family!