July 7, 2017
Today was Shrewsbury Town Manager Dan Morgado's last day of service to our town before beginning his retirement. In honor of his leadership and in appreciation for all he has done for Shrewsbury, I am publishing an edited version of the remarks I gave when I had the privilege of introducing him when he received the Shrewsbury Education Foundation's Community Service Award this past January.
It is my privilege to have the honor of introducing this year’s recipient of SEF’s Community Service Award, our highly esteemed Town Manager, Daniel J. Morgado. I was very pleased when I learned that Dan would be honored in this way, as his leadership has had a significant, positive impact on so many aspects of the quality of life in our community during his almost 20 years as the Town’s chief executive officer, including his support of our schools. During my time as Superintendent of Schools, I have gained an increasingly greater appreciation for the work that Dan has done, and an understanding why he is revered among his peers and why our town has the reputation as being one of the best managed municipalities in the Commonwealth.
You should know that Dan has always done his best to recommend the most funding he feels he can to our community’s schools, because he has tremendous respect for the importance of public education. Dan often will reference his and his wife Luanne’s appreciation for the education his son, Dan, received at Shrewsbury High School when their family moved here when he became Town Manager, and for the role our schools play in the life of our community. From his own upbringing, Dan has talked with me about the negative effects he experienced due to insufficient school funding when his school used double sessions as a cost-saving measure, and I have witnessed first hand his passion for wanting all of our community’s youth to receive the education they need and deserve. During his time as Town Manager, a time of incredible growth in the town’s population and school enrollment, Dan has been a superb steward of the limited resources available to the town, enabling our schools to thrive. His thoughtful and innovative approaches in the areas of health insurance, custodial services, and regionalization of the Health Department, just to name a few, have stretched the dollars available to address other Town needs, including education.
His leadership has also been indispensable for the improvement of the Town’s infrastructure, with the wonderful new Public Library just the latest example. During a time period when we needed to add significantly more school space, his diligence and skill have been key for the many successful school building projects we’ve had during his tenure, including the new Shrewsbury High School, the renovation of the former high school into the Oak Middle School, the addition of several modular classrooms at our elementary schools, the conversion of the old North Shore School into the Parker Road Preschool, and the most recent addition of the new Sherwood Middle School. The fact that Town Meeting just unanimously appropriated over a million dollars for a feasibility study for the Beal project is tribute to the fact that Town Meeting members know that when Dan Morgado is recommending a project in the best interests of the town, you can trust that it is.
The impact that Dan’s leadership has had on all aspects of our community’s quality of life is substantial, but since he is being honored tonight in the context of education, I want to conclude my introduction with my appreciation for the fact that Dan is, himself, and outstanding educator. He educates when he provides information, explanations, and insight when speaking at board meetings and Town Meeting. He also is a superb adjunct professor at Clark University; it is a treat when Dan shares his final exam questions with me, as it is clear that his public administration and policy students are gaining a tremendous amount of knowledge and wisdom from having Dan as their teacher. And, like all excellent teachers, Dan is a student, especially of history and current events. Many of you know he avidly consumes both historical biographies and various news sources, and I always appreciate the wisdom I gain from conversations I’ve had with him about his latest reading. It is with great admiration that I can say that Dan is among the most learned individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing – period.
It is fitting that, after two decades of extraordinary service to Shrewsbury, that Dan is being honored with this award. Our town has benefited from his deeply held core values and principles; his extraordinary work ethic; his skillful leadership; and his devotion to the wellbeing of our community, including its youngest citizens through his many contributions to the quality of their education. Dan, on behalf of those many thousands of students, as well as the employees and residents who have benefited from your leadership: Thank you for all you have done. It is now my distinct pleasure to ask this year’s very worthy recipient of the Shrewsbury Education Foundation’s Community Service Award, Dan Morgado, to come forward to accept this honor.