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Jun 9, 2015 7:05 PM

Concord High principal Gene Connolly vows to keep working despite ALS


CONCORD - Senior Class President Dan Lawrence's friendship with his principal, Gene Connolly, started through football.

"He came and he called me over and he just started talking to me about the Giants," said Lawrence.

For class Vice Presidents Marissa Splendore, music brought her closer to Connolly.

"He said 'you like Jackson Brown?'" Splendore said. "And I said, 'yeah I like Jackson Brown,' and he said, 'Well you need to come back on Friday, and I need to tell you my Jackson Brown story.'"

Connolly is still telling stories, just in a different way.

Last year he was diagnosed with ALS, which has taken away his voice. But it hasn't taken his hair or his spirit.

"It's one of those things that you want to be able to say that no it's fine there's a way around it but there's not," Lawrence said.

Later this month Connolly will say goodbye to the senior class at graduation.

But for now, he's not saying goodbye to his career.

"He's here next year - that's the plan for now," Concord High School Assistant Vice Principal Tom Crumrine said.

During the interview, we asked Connolly what his plan was going forward. He wrote down that he's not sure what's next.

His students say they've learned a lot from Connolly beyond the classroom.

"Nobody's immortal," Splendore said. "But as long as your ideas and your thoughts and your influence on people continues on like you're never dead."

A battle he is facing head on with a lot of support from his students.


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