The George Peabody Legacy Award is presented by the Peabody Education Foundation to recognize and honor the educators and philanthropists from within the community who work to provide a lifetime of contributions to our educational system.  It is an honor to recognize educators who have gone above and beyond to make a lasting difference in the lives of their students.  In the classroom they are both learners and facilitators of learning. They attend to the social and emotional needs of their students making a lasting, positive impact by providing a progressive learning atmosphere meeting the needs of every, individual child.

2024 George Peabody Legacy Award Nominations

We are currently seeking nominations of worthy candidates for our 12th annual George Peabody Legacy Award!! Please tell us why you are nominating this person for the George Peabody Legacy award. Recipients will be selected by our GPLA Committee and will be honored at our annual award ceremony in the Fall.

(Award may be posthumously)

Application Submission: Please submit your nomination by August 2nd, 2024. Click below to make your nomination!

The nominated person has met the following criteria:

Has had a lasting impact on Education

Effects change for the good of the people over a significant period of time

Is an active member in the Peabody Community

Tireless advocate for the betterment of Peabody students

Lives or works in Peabody

About our 2023 Recipients … 

Karlyne L. Furnari

Karlyne served as an educator in the Peabody community for thirty-five (35) years and spent thirty-four (34) of those years as a proud member of the Peabody Public Schools. Mrs. Furnari began her career in early childhood education/preschool and then became a paraprofessional. Through tireless efforts and determination, Mrs. Furnari worked her way up to obtaining her dream job as a social studies teacher at the Higgins Middle School. Throughout her years as a teacher, Karlyne drew upon her experience as a paraprofessional and recognized the importance of individualization in education. She recognized primarily that all students can learn when a teacher taps into their individual strengths, abilities, and interests. She not only embraced differences in learning styles, but taught students how to recognize their own style and study in a way that made sense for them.

There are students who learn by reading, while others learn by listening, and still others learn by doing. This revelation helped students to see that they could be successful in school and set them on the right path toward their own academic excellence. Not only did Mrs. Furnari leave an indelible mark on her students, but she also served as a role model for her colleagues as well. Her roles as cluster teacher, new teacher mentor, and curriculum facilitator gave her the opportunity to share her experiences with numerous teachers over the years. Whether a colleague needed help with classroom management or materials, a sounding board for innovative ideas, or the wisdom of a veteran teacher, they knew they could count on her. Karlyne Furnari taught hundreds of students, mentored dozens of teachers, and her impact is truly immeasurable.

Keri Kinnaly

Keri is a lifetime resident of the City of Peabody, a 1986 graduate of PVMHS, and a twenty-nine (29) year teaching veteran at Captain Samuel Brown Elementary School. As a tireless educator, Mrs. Kinnaly is constantly looking for ways to creatively engage her third graders. She believes in providing diverse opportunities for learning because, as she likes to say, “it takes all types.” She is especially talented at discovering her students’ unique interests and finding ways to encourage their specific skills, such as:

  • Entering student artwork in the MWRA Poster Contest and Cassella Waste Management calendar to teach the water cycle and recycling with an artistic twist,
  • Coordinating pen pal partnerships with seniors at the Torigian Senior Center and Grattan Elementary School in San Francisco,
  • Regularly participating in the PEF Guest Reader Program and PEF Grants Program,
  • Planning hands-on field trips to Brooksby Farm, the Topsfield Fair, and the South Branch Library

Mrs. Kinnaly takes every opportunity she gets to provide a positive experience for her students. She goes above and beyond to be a dependable volunteer: as Brown School PTO’s teacher representative, a member on the Brown School’s Instructional Leadership Team (ILT), a part of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) team, and a regular attendee of the Brown School Podcast Club. Mrs. Kinnaly’s legacy is putting the students first. She is a proud teacher, but more importantly she is a proud Peabody teacher because she is motivated by giving back to the community that raised her.

Fran Gallugi

Fran’s dedicated service spans an impressive thirty-three (33) years within the Peabody Schools. Beyond her role as an educator, she dons various hats in our community, serving as a Library Trustee, a member of the Garden Club, and the esteemed Chairwoman of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Her commitment extends further as a long-time volunteer at the Haven from Hunger, where she selflessly contributes wherever and whenever needed. Fran’s influence leaves an indelible mark on our community. As she travels throughout the city, it’s a common occurrence for her to encounter former students or parents of former students. Their faces light up as they take a moment to express their deep appreciation for Fran’s unwavering guidance, endless patience, and boundless inspiration. They fondly recall her words of encouragement, her tireless work ethic, her unwavering fairness, and her profound positive impact.

It’s abundantly clear that Fran has sculpted more than just scholars; she has cultivated a deep-seated passion for learning within her students and has served as a beacon of mentorship in their lives. Fran’s teaching transcends the classroom; she equips her students for the journey ahead. She ignites a spark within them, nurturing their desire to learn and motivating them to make a positive mark on the world around them. Fran’s legacy isn’t just one of teaching; it’s a legacy of empowerment and transformation.

Rosemary Slattery

Rosemary is a lifelong Peabody resident and has worked in Peabody her entire life. She graduated from Peabody Veterans Memorial High School and recently celebrated her 50th class reunion. She taught at PVMHS in the business department and recently retired from her position as Department Head. Rosemary Slattery is considered as someone who “bleeds Tanner blue” because of her pride, loyalty, and commitment to the City of Peabody. She believes that students learn best when they are placed in real world work settings and that the skills students learn there will last a lifetime. Rosemary now volunteers her technical and computer skills to the High School whenever and wherever needed. She has donated her time and talent to design logos, public relation resources, publications, banners, and signs whenever needed throughout the High School. Rosemary continues to be ready to assist and help as she is known for her “roll up her sleeves” attitude regardless of the task and does not rest until the mission is accomplished. We are fortunate to have Rosemary Slattery as a former colleague, a friend, and resolute teacher. Rosemary represents what the George Peabody Legacy Award is: educating others, making an impression on others, and positively impacting others’ lives through mentoring and education.

David Gravel

David Gravel joined the PEF Board in 2004. Nineteen (19) years later, David stands as the current President & Chairman of the Board. David is a strong advocate of education and has certainly provided a lifetime of contributions to the Peabody public school system. His unwavering dedication, innovative approach, and commitment to fostering an inclusive and enriching learning environment has transformed and left an indelible mark on Peabody’s students and teachers.

Dave served four (4) terms on the Peabody School Committee, dedicating endless hours to the future of our students. Following his School Committee tenure, Dave served six (6) terms on the Peabody City Council further demonstrating his commitment to his hometown, and its students, simultaneously with his time on the PEF Board. Since Dave was elected President in June 2008, the Peabody Education Foundation has flourished tremendously. He has worked endlessly to procure donations, resources, and volunteers from local businesses and the community to support PEF’s programs and events. More importantly, Dave dedicates the resources of his business to PEF initiatives. Whether its work provided by his staff, providing space for meetings, or countless financial and in-kind donations, has been the auxiliary engine behind the engine that is PEF, and that comes from its leadership. Dave has led the expansion of the mission of the PEF to not only provide our students with the resources to develop them into successful citizens and leaders, but more recently by the launch of a Mental Wellness Initiative to deliver programs that will help bring balance and emotional support to our schools, as well as provide reading materials, motivational speakers, and other resources to help our students deal with the mental health issues that challenge them every day.

The Board of the Peabody Education Foundation is honored to support David Gravel for the George Peabody Legacy Award; he is a true inspiration to all and truly believes that education is essential for building a better tomorrow for our children.

Mark Whiting

Mark joined the Board of the Peabody Education Foundation in October of 2003. This year, Mark retired from the PEF and from his position as Manager of the North Shore Mall. Mark’s commitment to the Public Schools in Peabody became overly evident with his push to bring the Simon Youth Foundation to the North Shore Mall. The mission of the Simon Youth Foundation is to foster and improve educational opportunities, career development, and life skills that transform the lives of at-risk youth through focused programs and initiatives with our public school and post-secondary education partners that are located in Simon Malls. The Simon Youth Academy in Peabody has achieved a one hundred percent (100%) graduation rate and has been a tremendous asset to our community. Mark’s drive and commitment to bring this Academy to fruition is a prime example of his desire to make a lasting difference in the lives of Peabody school children. Mark has also been an avid participant in the Guest Reader Program for all the years he served on the Board, donating his time by going into a classroom on a weekly basis and plans to continue that commitment into his retirement. Mark has contributed to the PEF as a Board Member, volunteer, and donor. He has proven to be a tireless advocate for the betterment of Peabody public schools and our children.

About George Peabody

George Peabody was a successful, self-educated entrepreneur who became the world’s first international philanthropist. He provided benefactions in his own lifetime of which many continue more than 150 years later to benefit people in both the United States and England. George Peabody also supported universal education, establishing libraries and lyceums for the education of all – men, women and adults. He aided the poor by endowing low income housing in London and promoting education in the south after the Civil War. He also supported the sciences, exploration and innovation, creating museums of archaeology, natural history, and science. George Peabody’s legacy is recognized both in London and in our City of Peabody with great pride and admiration.

J. Henry Higgins Middle School Mural

On January 16th, 2020, the Peabody Education Foundation revealed our new mural at the J. Henry Higgins Middle School honoring the recipients of our annual George Peabody Legacy Award. The mural recognizes the educators and philanthropists from within our community who have provided a lifetime of contribution to our educational system. The plan will be to add new recipient names to the mural as the years go on. We hope that this new mural serves as a reminder of the dedication and impact that our GPLA recipients have provided to the education and students of Peabody!

2023 Inductees

Karlyne L. Furnari, Fran Gallugi, David Gravel, Keri Kinnaly, Rosemary Slattery, Mark Whiting

2022 Inductees

Eric M. Buckley, Ellen O. Burke, Michalene E. Hague, Judith M. McVann, Mark “Metro” Metropolis , Linda S. Robbins

2021 Inductees

Richard Carey, Judith “Judie” Maniatis, Jean Marie Marchetti, Joanne Pantapas, Don “Raph” Raphael, Jon Simmons

2020 Inductee

Ms. Cara E. Murtagh

2019 Inductees

Carol Isles, Maria Ferri, George Ernest Osborne, Jack Marshall, Jody Pedro

2018 Inductees

Dorothea Kuchinsky, Elaine Metropolis, Louis Surman, Victor Passacantilli, Cynthia Moore, Karen McGovern

2017 Inductees

Lorraine Benoit, Sister Christine Gubisch, Elaine Marshall, June Kessel, Dr. Donna Costa

2016 Inductees

Jan Anderson, David McGeney, Gerald Hallinan, Janyce Harkins
Warren Waugh

2015 Inductees

Edward Sapienza, Phyllis Rantz, Hubert McVann, Maryellen Flynn, Camille Bartlett, Ellen Endslow

2014 Inductees

Margaret Murphy, Joseph O’Malley, Robert Cavanaugh, Andrew Metropolis, Carolyn McGray, Elaine Espindle


2013 Inductees

John E. Murtagh, John “Jack” Murtagh, Helen Apostolides, Frank Hardy, Tom Hosman, James Geanoulis

Photo by Jeff Shmase

Peabody Education Foundation

The Peabody Education Foundation provides unique programs and advanced technology to thousands of students and teachers who might otherwise not enjoy such experiences due to budget constraints.

P.O. Box 233
Peabody, MA 01960