Teaching & Mentoring: The 1-2 Punch

From the Civil War through the 1920s, Brockton, Massachusetts thrived as one of the world’s premier shoe manufacturing centers. By the 1950s, the hardscrabble city 30 miles south of Boston claimed bragging rights as the birthplace of undefeated heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano. Twenty years later, when Marvelous Marvin Hagler entered the ring, the city added a middleweight champion to its scorecard.

Today, though the fight motif is still in full swing around the “City of Champions,” Brockton’s greatest boast is probably its high school—the largest in New England. A beige colossus flanking the road behind the Rocky Marciano Stadium, Brockton High School houses 4,358 students and a faculty of 331 women and men. Among these educators is history teacher Gregory Hazelwood BA ‘98.

Brockton High School history teacher Greg Hazelwood leads students in a warm up for Black History Month presentations with the song, "Lift Every Voice and Sing," also known as the "Negro National Anthem." "It's a very positive song. Some students know the first stanza, some know all the lyrics."

“I wish every kid in the school could have Mr. Hazelwood as a teacher during their career here,” says Brockton High School principal Dr. Susan Szachowicz. “He brings history to life. But the most important lessons he teaches are about character, how to treat other people. Greg uses every moment as a teachable moment.”

“Good afternoon!” Mr. Hazelwood greets the students heartily as they file into class. “Today we’re going to name stereotypes and we’re going to talk about how to counteract them.” Continue Reading