It is my pleasure to introduce you to an extraordinary lawyer, educator and philanthropist, Tom Bean, of 150 year old law firm Verrill Dana in Boston, whose practice focuses on businesses that are experiencing financial distress. Tom is also cofounder and chair of the advisory board of the Spark Academy – and a self-described “head cheerleader” of the school.

The Spark Academy is certainly worth cheering about. This public school in Lawrence, MA focuses on building the connections between healthy bodies and healthy minds. Students attend school for eight hours a day, and more than two of those hours are devoted to physical movement and athletic activity. For the balance of the day, they are challenged academically. The school’s mission is to “inspire and develop critical thinkers, skillful communicators, constructive team members, and healthy bodies.”

The approach seems to be working: last year the Spark Academy enjoyed 97% attendance. Students clearly enjoy going to school, and their scores on both physical and academic metrics are outstanding. Here is a video with more information about the school:

It is always a pleasure for me to counter the too-frequent incidences of lawyer-bashing that we see in the media, which have led to a reputation for the profession that is most often undeserved and unfair. Tom Bean is great example of a lawyer who is contributing his resources to the betterment of the world around him – both “on the job” and when he’s off the clock.

If you are interested in supporting The Spark Academy, feel free to contact Tom via his email.

As always, your comments and feedback are welcome, either on this blog or via my email.