On Monday, February 22, 1971, the long-anticipated move to the new high school was made. That same day, Robert J. O'Donnell submitted his resignation to the School Committee while accepting the offer at King Phillip Regional High School.Because it was reported in the Boston newspapers that evening, students were not surprised when he, on Tuesday afternoon, officially announced his intentions to the student body.
Mr. O'Donnell came to Belmont in 1968. The three years in which he served as principal were, indeed ones of growth and change. Many significant events took place under his administration, including the abolishion of the dress code, periods of student activism, the moratorium, Earth Day, the transition to the new high school and the formation of open campus. All of these changes, initiated perhaps, by the spirit of the times, were helped, nevertheless, by a progressive administration which sought to discuss and compromise rather than dictate.
In addition to being "the man behind the desk", Mr. O'Donnell displayed a personal interest in youth. Many will remember his friendly rapport with students, his interests in extracurricular activeities, and evn his dexterity in riding a donkey.
We, the members of the Senior Class, especially recognize Mr. O'Donnel's years of valuable service. We can, perhaps more than any other class, because we came in with him to this school three years ago.
This supplement edition of the 1971 Yearbook "Reflections" is dedicated to Robert J. O'Donnell for his leadership, dedication and service.