The Brookline Commission for Women is honored to announce that Mary Dunne has been named the 2014 Brookline Woman of the Year. Currently a preschool teacher for the Brookline Early Education Program (BEEP) at Driscoll School, Mary has been an educator in the Brookline schools for 35 years. She is an enthusiastic, loving, creative and patient educator who works with children whose individual, complex and unique situations create challenges in learning. Mary has dedicated her life to children, their education and their well-being.
Mary has shown her strength and resiliency not only by continuing her important and demanding work with young children, but also by working to educate young adults about the dangers of dating violence. Mary has turned great tragedy in her own life into hope for others following the murder of her daughter, Lauren Dunne Astley, who was killed by her high school boyfriend following their breakup.
With Lauren’s father, Malcolm Astley, Mary has co-founded the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund which promotes educational programs and legislation that raise awareness of healthy teen relationships and that prevent dating violence. She has spoken at the State House, in media interviews, in schools and to other groups concerned with the safety of young people. Through the Lauren Dunne Astley Fund for Young Children, Mary has provided scholarships for children with financial need to attend the Brookline Early Education Program. Mary is a model of courage, a woman of strength and a beacon of hope.
Mary will be honored at the BCW's 22nd Annual Women Who Inspire Us Awards ceremony on Monday, March 31, at 6 p.m., in Hunneman Hall at the Main Library, 361 Washington St. Twelve essay contest winners from the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade will also be recognized at the event.Please join us for this wonderful community event! (The honoree wishes no small children attend due to the sensitive nature of her story.)
Submitted by The Brookline Commission for Women.