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Longtime Wilmington Board Member Peggy Kane Dies

May 25, 2019

WILMINGTON — Dedicated community member Margaret “Peggy” Kane passed away this week.

A retired teacher, Kane served nearly two decades on the Wilmington School Committee. She served her first term on the committee in 1990 and became a mentor to many other committee members.

“Peggy was fabulous,” said former School Committee member Julie Broussard.

It was Kane who convinced Broussard to run for the committee.

Like Broussard, School Committee member Mary Jane Byrnes also found a mentor in Kane. When Byrnes joined the committee, Kane’s first advice to her was to “not be a one note committee member.”

Kane helped deepen Byrnes’ knowledge of education and challenged her to expand how she looked a various education projects.

“She gave me direction in order to be a contributing, positive factor,” said Byrnes.

Among the many initiatives Kane worked on was the new high school and bringing full-day kindergarten to town, Broussard said.

Even after Kane stepped down from the committee in 2018, she remained a go-to source for committee members looking for insight.

“She always had the pulse of this town,” Byrnes said.

Just last week Byrnes called Kane for advice.

“I’m so grateful I had that opportunity to catch her,” Byrnes said. “It’s really heartbreaking to me to think that I’m not going to be able to call her and say ‘Hey Peggy I need your thoughts on this.’”

In 2018, the Massachusetts Association of School Committees (MASC) presented Kane with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The MASC gives the award to recipients who “have exhibited the best characteristics of public service” according to the MASC website.

In addition to her long service on the School Committee, Kane was active in the community in other ways. She also served on the Friends of the Library for Wilmington Public Library and was a regular volunteer at the Book Store Next Store.

According to Byrnes, Kane’s love for teaching and learning is was drove so much of her work. Her three grandchildren were also an inspiration.

“Her grandchildren were a part of a lot of things that she did,” Byrnes said.

Kane will be severely missed, Broussard said.

“She was a respected colleague. She was a cherished friend,” said Broussard.

Follow Emma R. Murphy on Twitter @MurphReports

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