Just over a month ago a first-grader collapsed in gym class at the East Boston Central Catholic School on London Street. Teachers Bob Casaletto and Kathleen Carabine responded and performed CPR for seven minutes, which likely saved the child's life. The Globe was there yesterday as the pair, and Lauryn Rozzi, the girl's first-grade teacher, visited the hospital to see six-year-old Olivia Quigley. (Check out the video, too.)
As I mentioned when this story was in the news in mid-February, I've known Casaletto since he was a boy and I worked with him for many years at the Salesian Boys & Girls Club. What strikes me most about this episode is not that he responded instantly and did what he had to do, but that he still teaches at a small Catholic school -- which, by the way, I graduated from in 1977 -- despite many opportunities through the years to jump to public school, where he'd be making twice as much money. The fact that he was there that day is as much a testament to his character as his ability to take action in a moment of crisis.
The same is true, I'm sure, for the other faculty members at EBCCS -- including Rozzi, who was a student of mine at Savio a decade ago (and you could not find a person with a better disposition to be a first-grade teacher). At a time when small Catholic schools are closing all around us -- including, here in Eastie, St. Mary's elementary school and Savio High School in the past few years -- EBCCS is still there and still doing wonderful things, and the credit for that goes to its dedicated teachers, administrators and staff.