Proposal to Name Upper Jackson Track for Dave Whelan

The proposal is scheduled for a vote at the next selectmen's meeting, Feb. 6.


Selectmen are scheduled to vote next week on a proposal to name the Upper Jackson track after Dave Whelan, a parent and Swampscott schools supporter who died in September.

Dave's wife, Jean, his son, Trevor, and former Swampscott track coach Dom Finelli were in the audience Wednesday when School Committee member Marianne Hartmann presented the proposal to selectmen.

Dave Whelan was a former School Committee chairman, town treasurer, track supporter and tireless advocate for Chapter 70 education funding for Swampscott.

He spent some of his best days at the Upper Jackson track watching the Big Blue teams and his son Trevor compete, Hartmann said.

Upper Jackson is located behind the high school off The Greenway. 

School Committee members talked about and supported naming the track after Dave, the committee member said.

Selectmen appeared to support the idea too but wanted the public to weigh in on it before they put it to a vote.

The naming needs selectmen's support since Upper Jackson is town property.

Selectman Glen Kessler wondered if there was a more fitting place to be named given Dave's advocacy for Chapter 70 funding.

But Selectman Jill Sullivan said the track was the right place.

"This is Dave," she said.

Kevin Donaher January 28, 2013 at 02:17 PM
I think naming the track for Dave is absolutely the right thing to do. Dave dedicated a great deal of his time not only to the schools but to sport programs for children of all ages.
Mary DeChillo January 28, 2013 at 03:20 PM
Dave was a dedicated and disciplined lifelong runner himself, right up until the time he became sick with cancer. He noted during his illness--"Just months ago before getting cancer, I was running 6 miles a day". Having the track, on school property, named for him honors both his love of running and his service to the Swampscott Public Schools and the Town of Swampscott.
Maureen January 29, 2013 at 03:39 AM
Well said, Kevin and Mary. The naming of the track is certainly a fitting tribute to Dave. Thank you to Marianne for making the proposal to the Board of Selectmen and thanks to Jean and Trevor and Dom for being there to support it. I'm sure the gesture would mean a lot to the man who gave a great deal of time and energy to our town.


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