Published on Friday, 7 July 2017 21:51 in The Bristol Press

BRISTOL – As a longtime veteran teacher officially retires from Bristol Central High School, she will continue as a volunteer working on a new program started by a former student.

Gale Dickau retired at the end of the 2016-17 school year after 49 years of teaching at BCHS, plus one year of student teaching. As a tribute to her, Adrian Wojnarowski, who graduated the school in 1987, is funding the Writing Initiative.

Wojnarowski is a sports journalist who was recently hired by ESPN to report on the NBA. The online ESPN Media Zone recently ran a press release announcing both his hiring and his new initiative, described as “a multifaceted, ongoing program to encourage students to write and help them develop and hone their skills, provide scholarships and develop teacher enrichment programs for educators teaching writing.”

Deputy Superintendent Susan Moreau explained that Wojnarowski is a Bristol native who credits his early interest in writing and journalism to Dickau.

Moreau quoted from Wojnarowski’s statement on the ESPN site: “Whatever I’ve been able to achieve in my professional career, it is largely due to the foundation and nurturing provided to me by Gale Dickau and the educators at Bristol Central. I am honored to help Mrs. Dickau and Bristol Central High School provide platforms to train and inspire the next generation of writers and storytellers. I am a proud alumnus and excited to be a part of the Rams community again.”

“The Writing Initiative will fund and promote the fostering, enhancement, and celebration of writing excellence at Bristol Central High School,” Moreau said.

“Among its goals, The Writing Initiative plans to establish an open writing lab where students and staff may explore personal, academic and creative writing; schedule individual consultations on college application essays; fund writing contest prizes; host author and speaker events and have workshops for both students and faculty, and we will be including as many Bristol Eastern students in those as we can,” she said.

The initiative will also endow summer writing scholarships for gifted and talented students; award college grants to students who are going to pursue writing curricula; and grow student publications to include multi-media.

“This is an amazing gift to the school district,” Moreau said. She noted that Dickau will supervise the project unpaid “to continue her work to inspire students to write and think.”

“Adrian has given us a five-year commitment on his very, very generous gift, the largest we’ve ever received at Central High School,” Dickau said. “So we’re very excited.”

Dickau said the initiative is still in the planning stages, so the funding hasn’t been finalized yet.

Moreau encouraged other Bristol alumni to consider similar projects for the local schools.

According to the ESPN Media Zone: “Wojnarowski will be central in ESPN’s multimedia coverage of the NBA throughout the year, covering the league, its teams and players, free agency, the NBA Draft, the NBA Summer League and more. Additionally, Wojnarowski will continue to host a regular NBA-focused podcast on the DGital Media podcast network.

“I have a determination to cover this sport with the same passion as fans have in following it,” Wojnarowski said. “There’s a lot of work to be done, and I’m eager to get started.”

Wojnarowski is also a New York Times best-selling author for his book “The Miracle of St. Anthony: A Season with Coach Bob Hurley and Basketball’s Most Improbable Dynasty.”

He joins ESPN from Yahoo Sports, where he spent nearly 10 years as the editor of The Vertical. His journalism career includes nearly 10 years at The Record, where he was twice named the APSE “Columnist of the Year,” as well as several years each at The Fresno Bee and The Waterbury Republican-American. He began his career as a sports clerk for the Hartford Courant and intern for the Olean Times Herald while still in high school and college. He is a 1991 graduate of St. Bonaventure University.

Susan Corica can be reached at 860-973-1802 or