Senator Paul Kirk Visits Inly School

Senator Paul Kirk

“Remember that the purpose of life is to live a life of purpose…so set high standards, so that whether by accident of history or time you are ready to serve.”

During his visit to Inly on November 13, Senator Paul Kirk (D-MA) called on Inly’s Middle School students to have passion, self-discipline, and a commitment to their communities. As he said, “Service is important, making a difference in people’s lives is everything.”

“I came here to pay respects to you and your parents, who had the wisdom to send you here,” said Senator Kirk to the audience of students and faculty.

Senator Kirk visited at the request of his former staffer, Inly’s own librarian Shelley Sommer. Shelley first met Paul Kirk when she was a recent college graduate working at the Democratic National Committee in 1987.

“It was a hello-and-get-coffee kind of job,” Shelley said. From the beginning, she was impressed with then-Democratic Chairman Kirk. “I knew how to operate the copy machine, and Chairman Kirk was traveling around the country leading the nation’s oldest political party. Despite being on opposite ends of the operation, Paul Kirk was unfailingly respectful to everyone on the staff and he had our loyalty.”

In 1989, Shelley left the Democratic National Committee for a job at the Kennedy Library in Boston. “I was very new on the job when they announced a new director, and it was Chairman Kirk! Only this time I didn’t have to get coffee,” she laughed. When she learned that her former boss was appointed to replace his friend Senator Kennedy this past September, Shelley dropped him an e-mail congratulating him and asking him to come speak to Inly’s Middle School. She was thrilled when he accepted.

Senator Kirk’s life of public service is an inspiration,” said Head of School Donna Milani Luther. “He exemplifies the type of leadership we expect our students to aspire to. It is an honor to have him here.”

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