Published in the August 9, 2018 edition


NORTH READING — Five people who make life better for residents of all ages in town through their selfless service were celebrated at the 2018 Volunteer Breakfast sponsored by the Community Impact Team (CIT) last Friday morning.

Trusted Adult Award recipients, who were nominated by the town’s youths, were presented to Detective Paul Lucci, who also serves as the School Resource Officer, and Justin Mattison, who is the Middle School psychologist. The third recipient of this award is Suzanne Callanen, a third-grade teacher at the Batchelder School. She was unable to attend the breakfast but the CIT will make sure that she is appropriately recognized at a future event.

DETECTIVE PAUL LUCCI celebrates being selected as a Trusted Adult Award recipient by students from the Middle School with his wife Tracy (at left) and his parents, Carolyn and Paul Lucci. (Maureen Doherty Photo)

Community Champion Awards were presented to Gloria Mastro and Bob Mauceri, two long-time residents who have both given untold hours of their time to North Reading through decades of volunteer service in organizations or elective office.

Trusted Adult Award

“The Youth Substance Use Coalition knows how important adults can be to kids. We wanted to honor adults in the community that kids see as go-to people; people they can trust,” Substance Abuse Grant Coordinator Amy Luckiewicz told the Transcript.

“Having an adult outside of the family that a student can turn to is a very important protective factor and we thank the honorees for being that trusted adult to our students,” Luckiewicz added.

Both Trusted Adult Award winners recognized Friday fit that bill perfectly. Although to both Lucci and Mattison it may seem that their actions were simply all part of a day’s work, the positive impact they made clearly resonated with the teens who were given the opportunity to personally thank them and present them with their star-shaped etched glass plaque.

GLORIA MASTRO (at left) is congratulated by her friends, Adrienne Quercia Capuano and Veronica Lee, after being named a CIT Community Champion for her decades of volunteerism. (Maureen Doherty Photo)

Bryan Deuterio, who will start his freshman year at North Reading High School this fall, was among of group of seven students who chose to nominate Det. Lucci for the award.

“Last spring my friends and I heard about the Trusted Adult Award and we immediately thought of nominating Detective Lucci,” Deuterio told those gathered at the Edith O’Leary Senior Center. “We spend a lot of time at the skate park and Detective Lucci was one of the people that helped set that up years ago. Back in the spring, we had noticed graffiti and some of the ramps needed to be repaired so we went to talk to him. He agreed to help but also talked to us about responsibility and being good stewards of the skate park.”

“To prove we were serious, we cleaned up the park and painted over the graffiti. He kept his word too, and got the Parks Department to provide some repairs to the ramps,” he added.

“Detective Lucci is someone we see as a person we can talk to. We see him every day at school and he talks to us at lunch. He is reliable, friendly, and really wants us to do our best. So on behalf of myself and my six friends that nominated him, we would like to present the 2018 Trusted Adult Award to Detective Paul Lucci,” Deuterio said.

RECOGNIZED for their selfless contributions to the betterment of the community at the annual Community Impact Team Award Breakfast were Community Champion Gloria Mastro (seated) and standing, from left: Community Champion Bob Mauceri and Trusted Adults Justin Mattison and Detective Paul Lucci. Missing was Trusted Adult Suzanne Callanen. (Maureen Doherty Photo)

“I nominated Mr. Mattison for this award because since I started Middle School he has shown me how trusting and kind he is,” Jake Garniss said. “On the very first day of school my schedule was not right and I was not allowed into the class that I was suppose to be in. Mr. Mattison saw that I was upset so I sat in his office while he tried to figure out what happened to my schedule,” he recalled.

“Another time he helped me was this year when I wasn’t allowed in the fitness center. He took time out of his schedule to watch me because otherwise I would not be able to work out. I am thankful for him putting the students before himself,” concluded Garniss, who is entering the eighth grade this fall at the Middle School.

Police Chief Michael P. Murphy was pleased with  Detective Lucci’s recognition as a CIT Trusted Adult because “it reflects the students’ belief that Lucci would be a trusted person they could turn to in times of need.”

“As a School Resource Officer, Detective Lucci dedicates his workday to mentoring, teaching, creating partnerships, building relationships and ensuring school safety. One of the most important things for our School Resource Officer to know is what his role is and how to best engage with students, parents, administrators, teachers and staff while on campus,” Chief Murphy said in a statement to the Transcript.

CIT COMMUNITY CHAMPION Award recipient Bob Mauceri and his wife Angela at Friday’s volunteer recognition breakfast. (Maureen Doherty Photo)

“Being nominated by students for the Community Impact Team’s Trusted Adult Award is a great indicator that he is succeeding in his role and having a positive affect on students’ lives.”

SRO Lucci has been with the North Reading Police Department since November of 2013 and has served as the department’s school resource officer for a year, Murphy added.

Community Champions

Selectman Steve O’Leary presented the Community Champion Awards to both Gloria Mastro and Bob Mauceri.

“I’ve observed that we’ve been very fortunate to have people like Bob, like Gloria, who have been willing to put themselves out of their way at the expense of time with their family,” O’Leary said, adding, “and their families have been extremely tolerant in allowing them to serve the community so well.”

O’Leary noted that Mastro has lived town since 1959 and raised five children here while working graveyard shift as a nurse, which enabled her to get home to see the kids off to school, get a little rest and spend her free time giving back to the community through volunteer service.

“Gloria has been involved in the CIT from the beginning but in addition to that she’s just been all over. The woman doesn’t sleep. I know she doesn’t sleep because she used to sit with my mother at 1 o’clock in the morning chit-chatting about what was going on in town,” he said. “She was a good partner in crime with my mother and a very good friend and they did a lot of good together,” he said.

“How many other parents do you know that have been inducted into the North Reading Athletic Hall of Fame? Why is that? Nobody could knuckle the community better than Gloria. She goes out there and she raises money for raffles, she puts baskets together. She does it all, and as a result all the funds go to the organization. You see her at the Apple Festival, you see her in her (Colonial) garb, you taste her apple pies,” O’Leary added.

Noting her work with young people through the various boosters organizations and with the town’s elders, through her volunteerism with the Council on Aging at the Senior Center, O’Leary said, “If you look at the work that she’s done, it’s across generations.”

O’Leary said Mastro and Mauceri are “a different category of people.”

“If there has been one constant for 46 years in this community, it’s Bob Mauceri,” O’Leary told the attendees.

“I have served with almost 30 different people on the Board of Selectmen and if someone were to ask me who have you served with that has done the most for this community it would be Bob Mauceri,” O’Leary added. “Quiet, unassuming. He has a vision and a way about him that transcends all party affiliations, political affiliations, differences of opinion on different issues. He sees a need and tries to address it; he’s one of the most patient individuals I’ve ever met.”

“Bob served on the Finance Committee back in 1972. He served on the Hillview Commission for 12 years. He served on the School Committee back in the ‘70s and ‘80s with my father. He ran for the Board of Selectmen and didn’t win, but he didn’t give up. … and he got elected to the Board of Selectmen.

“You don’t see the flashy headlines. You don’t see him saying, ‘This is my idea.’ He is always willing to let someone else take the credit… He is one of the most under-appreciated people in our community,” O’Leary said, adding that he was very excited to present this award to him for “the positive impact he has had and will continue to have on the community.”