Top of the class: Fitchburg State valedictorian, Wareham native reflects on academic career

Jan 12, 2019

Looking back on an impressive academic career, Quinn Staley credits a Wareham Middle School teacher for showing her that creativity could inform, not clash, with an education. In fact, that lesson helped guide the Fitchburg State University valedictorian to the field of communications.

Staley, who attended Wareham Public Schools from kindergarten through graduation, gave her university’s commencement address in December. She earned a bachelors of science degree in communications media with a concentration in professional communications.

Soon, she’ll start working as a marketing coordinator in Fairhaven. A member of the Wareham High School Class of 2015, she graduated fourth in her class. Heavily involved in the Wareham Viking Theater Company and National Honor Society, Staley also launched an anti-bullying club while a sophomore.

Staley took time to answer a few questions from Wareham Week after graduating.

Which Wareham Public Schools teacher inspired you most?

I would say the Wareham teacher that had the greatest impact on my career path was Brian Fitzgerald. Mr. Fitzgerald was my eight grade history teacher, and he always approached teaching in creative and innovative ways. He would mix in history lessons with creative writing or video assignments.

Were any lessons particularly memorable?

For one assignment in particular I remember spending hours writing a (not so) short story about what it would be like if Wareham fell under a dome, much like in Stephen King's novel “Under the Dome.” I was immensely proud of the assignment and after I handed it in, Mr. Fitzgerald called my mom to tell her what a good job I had done.

How did that impact you?

It was the first time someone had called home to tell them about something good I had done. It also taught me that there is a place for creativity in academia. When I moved on to high school, Mr. Fitzgerald even wrote me a recommendation letter so that I could attend a summer film program for girls. All of these experiences led me to my career in professional communications.