Wallingford school named in memory of Rep. Mary Fritz

August 29, 2017


Article as it appeared in the Record Journal

The former Yalesville School officially adopted its new name, becoming Mary G. Fritz Elementary School on the first day of school.

The Town Council voted unanimously last September to rename the elementary school, at 415 Church St. (Route 68), in memory of Mary Fritz, a Democratic state representative of the 90th district for 32 years, Wallingford Board of Education chairwoman and local teacher. She died in July 2016 at age 78.

Principal Mary Poisson led the renaming ceremony Monday.

“My goal today is to really help students and staff understand more about the life of Mrs. Fritz,” Poisson said, “and help to understand the qualities that she imparted in our community and state.”

Fritz was born in Cambridge, Mass. and moved to Wallingford in 1959. She was president of the PTA at the school that now carries her name, and taught at Moran Middle School. Her career in politics, representing the Yalesville section of Wallingford, strongly favored education.

The new entrance sign arrived earlier this month. A memorial inside the school displayed a collage of photos of Fritz, plus some mementos from her life, work and hobbies.

Students sat on the floor of the gym/auditorium as guests took their seats near the stage, including Fritz’s husband William Fritz, several of their children and grandchildren, friends of the family, school administrators and elected officials.

Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. addressed his comments toward the assembled children, highlighting her service locally and at the state Capitol, “dedication, warmth toward all people, and especially children.”

DSC_0149The sentiment was seconded by state Sen. Len Fasano, who represents Wallingford.

“She loved children, she loved education, she adored living in Yalesville,” Fasano said. “She’d be so proud of this community, and her family.”

Her grandchildren took turns reading aloud a short booklet highlighting Fritz’s life alphabetically. It included “A” for her collection of Annalee dolls, “B” for her boldness and bravery, and “C” for Cambridge, her hometown.

The “W,” of course, stood for Wallingford.