Charlie Sposato taught English for 33 years in the Framingham Public Schools. He was named Massachusetts Teacher of the Year in 1990.
In 2000, Charlie became the founding principal of the Match Charter School in Boston. Courage, discipline, and perseverance were his core values. Many of the Match staff who got to know him describe him as a life-changing mentor.
When he died in 2007, glowing obituaries described his life's work.
Charlie did not consider himself a superstar. He thought of himself as a grinder -- someone who loved to try to build relationships with kids and their parents, often succeeding but sometimes failing (even after many attempts). Those relationships, to him, often allowed him to "hook" a student into a love of English literature and language.
In naming our graduate school in memory of Mr. Sposato, we want him to serve as a symbol: a stand-in for all the amazing schoolteachers who shaped the Match team (we are grateful), and for all the future teachers we develop, in hopes that they will go on to have the sort of influence on kids that Charlie did.
Below is a video of Mike Goldstein's remarks about Charlie and his impact at the official opening of the Sposato Graduate School of Education on September 21st 2012.
Some student tributes:
- When everyone else decided we were just going to be "those kids" Charlie made us the "best kids." No one can ever take your place. That courage, discipline and perseverance did make a difference in our lives. I love you with all my heart and I am going to miss you.
- Mr. Sposato was one of the strongest men in this world and I continue to gain strength from him when I feel like giving up. He's the only man I know that was a father, a counselor, a teacher, a motivator and the list goes on. Love ya Mr. Sposato.
- I personally feel that I wouldn't be in college right now if it wasn't for him. He saw greatness in me and all the other students at the school, and taught me if I just applied myself to my classes, anything I ever wanted in life was mine for the taking. He actually got me to believe that. I love him so much.
- Mr. Sposato believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself. The main thing I learned from his life is that words are cheap. Action is what counts. Your acts, Mr. Sposato, are living and breathing in each person you touched with your infectious love for life. You were key in forming and nurturing the better parts of my character. We'll forever love and remember you.
- I've never met anymore more influential and genuine than Mr Sposato...My love and care for him far exceeded what many people would feel towards their principal, but with his charisma, compassion, and genuine love, it's impossible to think of him solely as a principal.
- Mr. Sposato was a man with a heart the same size as his nose -- big, no denying that, and he loved to point it out.
- Mr. Sposato was one of the few sincere people on this earth that really cared for everyone as if they were all his children. He was a great human being who lived to put a smile on everyone's face. You will forever be remembered, thank you for being there for us when we needed you.