Student wants a bench to honor popular teacher

by Robb Fulcher
Published January 15, 2009

Hermosa Valley School fourth grader Graham Amato, who was in teacher Kim O’Brien’s class last year, will begin raising funds for a teak bench to be placed on the greenbelt overlooking the campus, in the popular teacher’s memory.
Last year Mrs. O’Brien taught part-time, coming to the classroom Mondays and Tuesdays, spending the rest of the week receiving, and recovering from, chemotherapy treatments.
She had begun reading the book A Wrinkle in Time to Graham’s class, and got to the end by videotaping herself reading aloud, so the tapes could be shown in the classroom.
“I read a lot of books and she did also,” Graham said.
His mom Nancy described Mrs. O’Brien as a loving and accomplished teacher.
Graham was walking along in a memorial procession for his teacher at the city pier, passing the benches that line the structure, when he thought about a bench for Mrs. O’Brien. He and his family checked with city officials and found that a bench, fully installed, would cost $1,600. They discussed the idea with the school, and then Graham emailed O’Brien’s husband, seeking his approval for the project.
With an okay from the O’Brien family, Graham must now plan his fundraising. Step one will be to let other families know about it through the weekly school newsletter to parents.
People interested in participating can email Graham at ER