Principal fighting ALS will work ‘as long as I possibly can’
Concord High School Principal Gene Connolly announced last week that he has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. (Mark Hayward/Union Leader)
CONCORD — The principal at Concord High School announced last week that he has ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, and he will remain on the job as long as he can.
Gene Connolly, 58, said the diagnosis was confirmed last week at the Lahey Clinic in Massachusetts.
“I love my job here,” he wrote, “and will continue to work and be part of this great community for as long as I possibly can.”
He said he couldn’t imagine not working at the school he has led for 12 years. He said he continues to run three miles each morning, and a slowed speech is the only symptom he’s experienced.
He said he will leave once he loses stamina.
Concord Schools Superintendent Christine Rath quickly followed the announcement with one of her own.
ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is a progressive and fatal neuromuscular disease with no known cure or cause. Its most common victims are men over the age of 60, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
He decided to make the announcement because last spring, colleagues noticed his mispronunciation and slurring, he said. They kept asking if everything was all right, he said.
Concord High School is the home school to some 1,700 students from Concord and Deerfield. It also hosts a regional technology center that provides part-time classes to another 300 students.
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