Last week, BFA Fairfax lost a champion for our school and its students. Long time BFA employee, Pete Lavoie, passed away unexpectedly. Pete drove a bus and worked with the maintenance staff in the summer, but his impact on students and staff reached far beyond his assigned duties.
Pete drove a morning and afternoon bus runs every day. He picked up students each morning and dropped them off in the afternoon. Students knew what Pete expected and he worked with them to help them if they needed it.
“Pete met with a student and parent that afternoon trying to help the student be successful on the bus. He always followed through with the school and the families to help the student succeed. That’s just the kind of guy he was.” – Tom Walsh, Elementary Principal
Pete was the regular driver for our students who attend Center for Technology, Essex. He was their consistent connection to BFA. Pete was there waiting for our students when Essex had their recent lockdown. Since the lockdown made them late, Pete drove every student directly to their homes so the other buses and students could leave BFA on time. It was another example of Pete putting students first after a stressful day.
Pete was the driver for the football and Nordic ski teams. He gave pep talks to the teams, cheered them on during the game or race, and supported them on the way home – win or lose. Students considered Pete a part of their team and he was routinely included in the end-of-season awards banquets.
“Pete cared. Pete cared fiercely about the town in which he lived, the school for which he worked, but most of all for the kids he drove. He was proud of them. He was protective of them. Pete cared.” – Fred Griffin, Nordic Ski Coach
Each afternoon as he left the parking lot, Pete gave the administrators a “thumbs up” to let them know he was ready to go.
When Pete left us last week, we were not ready to say goodbye. We will always carry the memory of Pete’s smile, enthusiasm, and caring to help us through the journey. Pete will live on in our memory and will be deeply missed.