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Longtime Fort River School teacher Peter Lamdin honored — in court

After 26 years, sixth-grade teacher Peter Lamdin supervised his final mock trial last week and was honored with a courtroom ceremony in Hadley Juvenile Court.

Lamdin, who lives in Pelham, is retiring at the end of the school year after teaching for over three decades at Fort River School in Amherst.

Judge James O. Collins, who presided over the fictitious trial in which students play all of the other essential roles, presented Lamdin with an honorary judge’s robe.

“Peter was honored for nearly 33 years of outstanding devotion to the education of his students,” he said. “For the past seven years, I’ve had the privilege of working with Peter on the mock trial, and the preparation that he puts into it all year long, along with his students, is just amazing,” Collins said. “Peter does such a wonderful, loving job with his students, and it’s a wonderful educational experience,” he said.

Lamdin’s final case was a murder trial based on the novel “Tuck Everlasting.” According to Collins, about 50 Fort River students participated in the event.

“We made him an honorary judge for the day, and, just like a real judge, he immediately started running things!” said Collins.

In addition to teaching at Fort River, Lamdin has also taught in Greenfield and at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment. He said that while he is ready for retirement after his long career in education, he is going to miss working with his students.

“I have loved teaching. I still love teaching and working with the kids,” he said, “and it’s going to be hard to end that, to no longer be doing things like the trial. But, it’s time for me to do it. I’ve been teaching for 33 years. Schools are changing, and it just seems like a good time to retire.”

— TOM REHLIHAN

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