Acton Boxborough Colonial Club

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Acton Boxborough Colonial Club

Shirley Conrad

Class of 1954

  One of the true pioneers of girls athletics at Acton High School, this four year 8 time letter winner in Field Hockey and Basketball, excelled on field and court. To quote legendary AB Hall of Fame Coach Izzy Stearns, "she was a rare and talented outstanding athlete. Even more importantly was her leadership in the school and extracurricular activities." Shirley was an early role model for the young girls of Acton who dreamed that they too could enjoy the activities that was once the realm of only the boys in Acton. Her leadership qualities manifested themselves in a storied career as a teacher, competitor and coach. After her playing days in Acton she concentrated her energies in field hockey. There were no collegiate field hockey teams in the mid-fifties, much like today's AAU teams. Women turned to club sports to polish their competitive skills. Shirley competed for the Northeast Boston Team against teams throughout the northeast. She was selected to the All-Boston Team. Her hand-eye skills were evidenced by winning the Massachusetts State Badminton Association Tournament in both singles and doubles play. Her distinguished professional career has seen her teach physical education at Hofstra University, Haverhill High School, Salem State College, Wesley College, University of New Hampshire and the Nashua School systems. Her duties at these various institutions included physical education instructor, teaching business math and algebra, coaching field hockey, badminton, developing and teaching a sailing curriculum, a professor of physical education, developer of health education curriculum and guidance counselor. Shirley Conrad truly is a woman for all seasons. Shirley's most memorable moments at Acton High School were the Friday night basketball games at home in the bandbox McCarthy School gym with enthusiastic fans and parents faithfully supporting the Acton teams. Shirley resides in Ipswich and continues to be active sailing, skiing, golfing, and playing tennis. We salute a leader on the field and court, and in education, Shirley Conrad.

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