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June 17, 2007

Farewell party held in honor of Principal Gainous

by Priyanka Gokhale, Online Editor-in-Chief
The administration held a farewell party on June 12 for Principal Phillip Gainous, celebrating his 23-year tenure at the helm of Blair, which will formally end on July 1. The party, planned by a committee of staff and parents and open to all who wished to attend, was held from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. and followed by a special presentation in the auditorium.
Gainous, who formally left Blair on July 1 after announcing his likely retirement on April 30, was made an honorary alumnus.

<i> Photo courtesy of Dave Ottalini </i>
Gainous, who formally left Blair on July 1 after announcing his likely retirement on April 30, was made an honorary alumnus. Photo courtesy of Dave Ottalini


The presentation included performances by Blair clubs, including the Bollywood club, InToneNation and the Chamber Choir. The evening was highlighted by a group of teachers from the Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) who formed a washboard band and parodied a song called "I'm Going Fishing" with words appropriate to Gainous.

The event also featured several guest speakers, among them County Executive Isiah Leggett and State Senator Jamie Raskin. Mark Levin, head of the Montgomery Blair Alumni Association, gave a proclamation that made Gainous an honorary alumni, according to PTSA Co-President Dave Ottalini, who spoke with fellow Co-President Deborah Stoll and incoming President Robert Gillette.

Despite heavy rains that evening, Blair's 750-seat auditorium was half-full, according to Ottalini. Though he was disappointed that more parents didn't attend, Ottalini said that the evening went well and gave Gainous a true goodbye. "It was just wonderful. It was personal, it was human, it was touching," he said. "Mr. Gainous got up at the end and spoke and it was emotional. It was a fond farewell."



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