The George Peabody Legacy Award is presented by the Peabody Education Foundation to recognize and honor the educators and philanthropists from within the community who work to provide a lifetime of contributions to our educational system.  It is an honor to recognize educators who have gone above and beyond to make a lasting difference in the lives of their students.  In the classroom they are both learners and facilitators of learning. They attend to the social and emotional needs of their students making a lasting, positive impact by providing a progressive learning atmosphere meeting the needs of every, individual child.

Congratulations to our 2021 George Peabody Legacy Award Recipients!

The Peabody Education Foundation is pleased to announce the names of this year’s George Peabody Legacy Award Recipients: Mr. Richard Carey (Retired), Mrs. Judith “Judie” Maniatis (Posthumously), Mrs. Jean Marchetti (Retired), Mrs. Joanne Pantapas (Posthumously), Mr. Don “Raph” Raphael (Posthumously), and Mr. Jon Simmons (Currently Teaching).

Each of these individuals will be recognized and honored for their lifetime of contributions to our educational system. An awards Ceremony will be held at the Higgins Middle School on Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 7:00 p.m.

Our recipients have met the following criteria:
Has had a lasting impact on Education
Effects change for the good of the people over a significant period of time

Is an active member in the Peabody Community

Tireless advocate for the betterment of Peabody students

Lives or works in Peabody

Thank you for a great event!

An Awards Ceremony was held at the Higgins Middle School on Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 7:00 p.m. Thank you to everyone who came out to support the event and our recipients including our event sponsors and volunteers!!

About our Recipients … 

Mr. Richard Carey

Retired – Mr. Carey taught drama, stagecraft, and improvisation at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School for nearly Twenty-Six (26) years.  He directed and produced well over 100 plays and musicals as the leader of the school’s award-winning drama club, Stage One.  He had the gift of bringing together students from different backgrounds through art and theater. 

Joanne Pantapas

Posthumously – Joanne began as the Director and Creator of the Passos Avante Preschool at the South Memorial School. She also operated the before and after school program at the South School for children in grades K-5. Joanne embodied everything a master educator should be …. Kind, flexible and patient.

Mrs. Judith “Judie” Maniatis

Posthumously – Mrs. Maniatis was employed by the Peabody School Department for twenty (20) years as a Special Education Teacher, IEP Chairperson, “B” House Dean, and most recently as Assistant Principal of PVMHS.  Judy was kind, loving, and energetic, and steadfastly committed to fairness and competence in the belief of  “Every Student, Every Day.”  Mrs. Maniatis passed away very unexpectedly in November of 2019.

Don “Raph” Raphael

Posthumously – Don Raphael or “Mr. Raph” was an art educator in the Peabody Public Schools for thirty (30) years at the Higgins Middle School. He influenced many young artists. His character, personality, and sense of humor made it easy to fall in love with his class and with the world of art.

Jean Marie Marchetti

Retired – Mrs. Marchetti is a long-time educator and head of the Family and Consumer Science Department at Peabody Veteran’s Memorial High School. Jean’s area of expertise is culinary arts, but she could teach any course in her department, and she pitched in wherever her skills were needed. She has a way of guiding her students with all ability levels in doing their personal best.

Jon Simmons

Currently teaching – Mr. Simmons has been the Director of Performing Arts at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School for Twenty-Six (26) years. Mr. Simmons provides meaningful artistic experiences that will enrich and enhance the lives of his students. He is committed to an arts education that promotes the unique creativity inherent in all his students while also cultivating a cooperative environment which fosters an appreciation for artistic collaboration.

Thank you to our 2021 Sponsors!

Corey Jackson

Joe & Beth Amico

About George Peabody

George Peabody was a successful, self-educated entrepreneur who became the world’s first international philanthropist. He provided benefactions in his own lifetime of which many continue more than 150 years later to benefit people in both the United States and England. George Peabody also supported universal education, establishing libraries and lyceums for the education of all – men, women and adults. He aided the poor by endowing low income housing in London and promoting education in the south after the Civil War. He also supported the sciences, exploration and innovation, creating museums of archaeology, natural history, and science. George Peabody’s legacy is recognized both in London and in our City of Peabody with great pride and admiration.

2020 George Peabody Legacy Award

Based on her lifetime of achievement and commitment to many generations of students in Peabody, the Peabody Education Foundation named Cara E. Murtagh as the single recipient of our 8th annual George Peabody Legacy Award. On Sunday, November 29th, 2020, we presented Cara’s George Peabody Legacy Award posthumously to Cara’s mother, Carol Murtagh, at the J. Henry Higgins Middle School.  We streamed the event live through Peabody TV, you can re-watch the event below.

 “Every Student, Every Day”

J. Henry Higgins Middle School Mural

On January 16th, 2020, the Peabody Education Foundation revealed our new mural at the J. Henry Higgins Middle School honoring the recipients of our annual George Peabody Legacy Award. The mural recognizes the educators and philanthropists from within our community who have provided a lifetime of contribution to our educational system. The plan will be to add new recipient names to the mural as the years go on. We hope that this new mural serves as a reminder of the dedication and impact that our GPLA recipients have provided to the education and students of Peabody!

2020 Inductee

Ms. Cara E. Murtagh

2019 Inductees

Carol Isles, Maria Ferri, George Ernest Osborne, Jack Marshall, Jody Pedro

2018 Inductees

Dorothea Kuchinsky, Elaine Metropolis, Louis Surman, Victor Passacantilli, Cynthia Moore, Karen McGovern

2017 Inductees

Lorraine Benoit, Sister Christine Gubisch, Elaine Marshall, June Kessel, Dr. Donna Costa

2016 Inductees

Jan Anderson, David McGeney, Gerald Hallinan, Janyce Harkins
Warren Waugh

2015 Inductees

Edward Sapienza, Phyllis Rantz, Hubert McVann, Maryellen Flynn, Camille Bartlett, Ellen Endslow

2014 Inductees

Margaret Murphy, Joseph O’Malley, Robert Cavanaugh, Andrew Metropolis, Carolyn McGray, Elaine Espindle


2013 Inductees

John E. Murtagh, John “Jack” Murtagh, Helen Apostolides, Frank Hardy, Tom Hosman, James Geanoulis

Photo by Jeff Shmase

Peabody Education Foundation

The Peabody Education Foundation provides unique programs and advanced technology to thousands of students and teachers who might otherwise not enjoy such experiences due to budget constraints.

P.O. Box 233
Peabody, MA 01960