Marblehead High School Principal Dan Bauer was honored by the Anti-Defamation League of New England on May 10 and given its North Shore Community Service Award. Saugus Police Chief Michael Ricciardelli was also honored.
“In a world where hate and bigotry are all too common, our challenge is to ensure that the communities in which we live, work and learn are built on the foundation of mutual respect, reflecting our core values of justice and inclusion,” said Melissa Kaplowitch of Marblehead, chair of the ADL’s North Shore Advisory Committee. “Our honorees this morning have demonstrated their commitment to that work.”
Bauer was presented the award by MHS sophomore Jared Kaplowitch and his sister Averi, who graduated from the high school in 2018.
Averi Kaplowitch described how Bauer supported her after an antisemitic incident at the high school when she was a sophomore.
“Mr. Bauer has always created a safe and welcoming space for all students and staff,” she said. “He never brushes an incident of hate of any kind aside. Under his leadership, students have been taught about how to be respectful and kind — but more importantly they have learned about how words and actions can be hurtful and harmful.
“In the world we are currently living in where acts of hate are occurring each and every day, we need more people like Mr. Bauer who can teach students what is right versus wrong while also being a sense of support,” Averi continued. “I certainly don’t know how I would have navigated acts of hate and the aftermath I experienced without Mr. Bauer’s guidance, reassurance and help that I was making the right decision in speaking up, even though it was a scary one.”
Jared Kaplowitch spoke about the recent Hate Ends Now exhibit at the high school where students boarded a replica of a WWII cattle car to learn about the horrors of the Holocaust.
“This is just one example of the many programs Mr. Bauer has brought to Marblehead High School that teaches students more about life and the world more than a textbook,” he said.
More than 300 people attended the ADL Essex County Law and Education Day event, including U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins who spoke about the importance of combating extremism.
Leigh Blander is an experienced TV, radio and print journalist who has written hundreds of stories for local newspapers, including the Marblehead Reporter. She also works as a PR specialist.