Matt Boyle – Remembering a legendary WHS teacher, administrator

Wednesday, August 26, 2009
By Cary Shuman

If you ask the literally thousands of students who graduated from Winthrop High school from the 1960s through the 1980s whom they most remember from their high school years, chances are the person they will mention at the top of their list is Matt Boyle.

Matt was a legendary presence in the town of Winthrop. He affected countless students’ lives in a positive way through his teaching, his administrative work as an assistant principal in the schools, and his coaching of student-athletes. Parents will recall how Matt would meet with them on an individual basis to create better situations for their children to maximize their educational experience at Winthrop High School.

Although his role of assistant principal often was to be the enforcer of discipline at the high school, a role for which his training as a Marine Corps drill instructor was appropriate, he never forgot that in the final analysis, he was dealing with impressionable children. His warmth, his engaging smile and open personality, plus his physical demeanor, always in great shape and standing erect, were what people saw on the outside; yet he also was known as a man of tremendous character and integrity who reached out to all students like a father figure would, devoting his life to helping others reach for their dreams.

He also had a tremendous influence on his colleagues in the profession, such as long-time WHS boys track coach Pat McGee, who considered Mr. Boyle a mentor and a big reason why she has attained such success with her track teams. Pat recalled how Mr. Boyle traveled to Marblehead to support her team as it captured its first Northeastern Conference championship in 28 years.

Matt Boyle will long be remembered for the outstanding work he did in the Winthrop school system. He did all of this for many decades with little fanfare; it was not in his nature to seek publicity for his tireless efforts in helping students. We know we join with all of our readers in thanking him for his many years of service to our community and all that he meant to our small town and its residents.

  • Jeff Christopher

    Matt Boyle was a great teacher, and I had the deepest respect for him. I was never a great student, but Matt was very kind and patient with me. I am now 65 years old. I went on to work for Vince McMahon and we ran a wrestling show in Winthrop in the seventies. I once gave Matt a ride home when I was attending school in Winthrop. He was, and will always will be someone I looked up to. I think, “God smiled through his eyes.” If you read this Matt, I would love to hear from you. God bless you, and I hope 2010 will be a great year for you.

    Sincerely,
    Jeff Christopher

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