EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Haverhill

October 25, 2012

Bergeron to inspire hometown teens?

School wants him, other successful grads to motivate students

HAVERHILL — He graduated from Haverhill High School in the 1970s and started his career as a disc jockey with a local radio station.

Today, Tom Bergeron is one of the most recognized people on TV. He hosts the popular show “Dancing with the Stars’’ and has won two Emmy awards.

Local school leaders hope to enlist his help to promote the high school and highlight the importance of education — to show students that if they work hard, they can achieve success.

“Everyone who graduates is important, but we want to highlight how high you can rise if you work and apply yourself,” School Committee member Joseph Bevilacqua said. “What better way to do that than with Tom Bergeron, who graduated from Haverhill High School and then went on to reach the top of his profession?”

Tonight, the School Committee will consider a proposal to hold an annual Graduate Recognition Day at Haverhill High. Bevilacqua, who came up with the idea, said he hopes Bergeron will accept an invitation to visit the high school and speak to students about the role his Hillie education played in his success.

Bergeron, 57, was born in Haverhill and attended Haverhill High and Northern Essex Community College before going on to become one of the nation’s most popular and recognizable TV personalities. He has won both a Daytime Emmy Award and a Primetime Emmy.

He lives in Los Angeles and Greenwich, Conn., with his wife, Lois, and their two daughters.

Bergeron is one of several Haverhill celebrities whose images appear on a four-story mural on a building in the heart of downtown Haverhill. He has returned to Haverhill in the past to make public appearances, but school officials said they do not know whether he has visited his former high school. Other famous Hillie graduates, such as professional baseball player Carlos Pena and best-selling author Andre Dubus III, have returned to the school in recent years to speak to students.

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