Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


November 29, 2012

Town loses a strong proponent of education

Barbara Neal was longtime teacher at West Middle

Traffic was so heavy at last week’s wake for Barbara Neal, a retired, longtime math teacher at West Middle School, that police had to close the street where the funeral home was located.

Barbara Neal died unexpectedly on Friday, Nov. 16. She was 70.

Inside the Conte Funeral Home on Florence Street last Tuesday, Nov. 20, her heavy-hearted family was certainly touched by the warm wishes and shared memories of so many.

”We were inspired. There were so many who came,” said her husband, Richard “Dick” Neal, a former superintendent of schools in Andover.

The Neals’ son, Steve Neal, is a police officer with the Andover Police Department. He is also an assistant hockey coach at Andover High School. The Neals also have two daughters who live out of town.

A 38-year town resident, Barbara Neal had many friends and former colleagues around Andover who say they will never forget her devotion to keeping Andover’s education system superlative.

”Barbara was an excellent math teacher. Her talents extended far beyond the subject matter. She understood the world of the teenager and adjusted her approaches as the societal changes took place while maintaining her values and standards,” said Ken Seifert, former Andover Superintendent of Schools. “She was regularly one of the last to leave the building at the end of the day.”

Seifert said she was “a great cheerleader for faculty and students alike.”

After retiring in 2005, she volunteered with education-focused community service groups. She was a longtime board member of the Andover Fund for Education and was the group’s treasurer at the time of her death.

”She was so dedicated to education and to students throughout her admirable life,” said Joan Cohen, AFE vice chairwoman. “It was one of numerous roles in which she served her passion and our community.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints

    Courtesy photo Megan McCann, left, and Melanie Scharn, right, have launched a fundraising campaign to assist Tammy Jusczak, center, a longtime toddler teacher at Bright Horizons in Andover who is battling cancer.

    A bright spot: Co-workers, parents support day-care teacher with cancer Posted 1 day ago 1 Photo

    Frances Y.J. Wheeler/Courtesy photo Andover Garden Club welcomes new members, from left, Donna Rudolph, Chris McDermott, Paula Eriksen, Erin Ryan, Debbie Freedman, Anne Collins, Barbara Reichter, Isabel Seely, Caroline Grady and Heather Moody Holman as club president Anne Feeney, left rear, looks on. Fellow new member Linda Shottes Bouchard is missing from the photo.

    Growth spurt for Andover Garden Club Posted 1 day ago 1 Photo

    U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES/Courtesy photo Dr. Howard Koh will step down as U.S. assistant secretary for health after five years to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health this fall in a new position in its Department of Health Policy and Management.

    Koh to rejoin Harvard School of Public Health Posted 15 days ago 1 Photo
  • 48 locals to pedal in Pan-Mass Challenge Posted 15 days ago

    Courtesy photo Hannah Currie is spending 10 days this summer becoming immersed in the music industry at GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles.

    Currie hits note at LA's GRAMMY Camp Posted 15 days ago 1 Photo
  • Thursday, July 10, 2014
  • South Church names new senior pastor Posted 22 days ago

    COURTESY PHOTO Andover residents Patrick James, left, Adam Geaslen, Ryan Byrd and Dan Bryant claimed first place at the 35th annual Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence Golf Tournament at Indian Ridge Country Club in town.

    Local foursome aces Boys & Girls Club tourney Posted 22 days ago 2 Photos

    COURTESY PHOTO The Marble sisters --Anna, 8, left, and Isabel, 11 -- post-donatin to Locks of Love.

    Sisters pair up to donate pony tails to Locks of Love Posted 22 days ago 4 Photos
  • AT HOST1

    DESI SMITH/Staff photo Former Andover residents Dana Cohen and his wife, Ginny, back, left, have regularly hosted foreign exchange students since 1989. Farrah Moussa, back right, from Egypt, and Paula Valverde, front right, from Spain, are the latest students to spend a year with the Cohens, who now live in Gloucester.

    Former Andover couple welcomes exchange students for quarter-century Posted 22 days ago 4 Photos
  • Thursday, July 3, 2014
  • LENO1

    FILE PHOTO Jay Leno, who honed his comedy skills growing up in Andover, will receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor this fall during a performance at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

    In good comedy company Posted 29 days ago 2 Photos

Pictures of the Week