Tuesday, October 03, 2017
Saloma “Sally” Brief Grose of Norwalk, a former Westport school system employee, died Sept. 30 at Norwalk Hospital. She was 90.
She was born in the Bronx to Eastern European immigrants (Morris Brief and Marie Lapidus Brief).
After graduating with a B.A. in history from New York University, she and her former husband, Laurence B. Grose, settled in Springfield, Massachusetts and later in Wilton and Westport.
As soon as her four children were all in school, she did her teacher training and took a job as a social studies teacher at Bedford Junior High School in Westport.
Years and even decades later, students remembered her as being a dynamic, creative and often controversial teacher who encouraged them to think critically.
In addition to teaching at Bedford Junior High, her nearly 40-year career in the Westport schools included time spent at Staples High School, Coleytown Junior High and as principal of Hillspoint Elementary School.
She received her doctorate in education from Teachers College at Columbia in 1976. All of her roles — as parent, as teacher and as citizen — were informed and shaped by a steadfast commitment to social justice, human rights and political activism.
After her retirement from teaching in 1998, she continued to be very active, primarily in her adopted community of Norwalk.
She was aware of the great and pressing needs of the local school children and dedicated herself for 20 years to improving their opportunities by serving on the boards of NEON and the Norwalk Childrens’ Foundation, by volunteering for Grassroots Tennis and by participating in the formation of Norwalk ACTS. She even ran for the city council.
Her battle with a degenerative lung condition forced her to slow down in the last few years. However, in June, 2017, Norwalk ACTS awarded her their Visionary Award, in recognition of her “courage, tenacity and vision in support of all Norwalk’s children.”
It was an acknowledgment of her unyielding support for the rights of inner-city children to receive all the investments of society that their advantaged counterparts receive.
When asked, shortly before her death, what she wanted her legacy to be, she answered, “that people should take care of one another and that those who can should be the voice for the voiceless”.
She is survived by her four children, Richard, Deborah, Jody and Barbara Grose and by her two grandchildren Tucker and Sarah Grose and their mother Kathleen Smith.
Donations in her name may be made to the Davis-Putter Scholarship Fund or to the Rosenberg Fund for Children.
Posted 10/03/17 Permalink