Wellesley Middle School custodians and neighbors went above and beyond the call of duty on the Friday night leading into Labor Day weekend to help a teaching assistant recover a lost necklace with sentimental value.
The spoiler alert here is that the necklace was found. But stick around to find out how the search went down, if you didn’t happen to be tracking it online in real time.
Wellesley Middle School’s Kate Monahan posted on a local Facebook group early Friday night that she had lost a delicate gold necklace with a pearl on it that she received 20 years ago for First Communion. She wondered if any parents had heard anything about it from their kids.
Rallying the troops
Neighbors then sprung into action, with offers extended to search the parking lot along the path that Monahan took to her car on the way home. Speculation included the possibility that she might have detached the necklace when swinging her bag around her shoulder.
Kari Sciera, a WMS teacher who lives nearby the school and is known for her good fortune, was among those volunteering to help when she saw the post around 6:30pm. “I had nothing going on,” she lamented. What’s more, she lost a meaningful ring herself a few years back that she still hopes will show up some day, so she could feel for Monahan, and what would put a damper on her long weekend.
Failing to find the necklace on the sidewalks or in the parking lot, Sciera circled back to the school when she noticed the lights on. She hit up the custodians to find out if they might have struck gold.
Custodian Carlos Parada left messages with others who had left for the night to see if they knew anything, then checked with the current crew. Nothing. They checked the main office and Monahan’s classroom, and nothing still.
Doing the dirty work
That’s when Parada did the dirty work of putting a glove on his hand and sifting through the vacuum bag used in that wing of the school. Zilch.
Then Parada got a call back from another custodian, Moises Burgos, who said he had found something and explained where he left it. And there it was, broken, but fixable, at just after 8pm.
“We cheered and hugged,” Sciera says. She also shared a photo of the necklace that those following along online could see. More celebration.
Sciera emphasized that the Middle School has never looked better in large part to the custodians. “That’s one big reason this tiny necklace was located so quickly in a huge building,” she says.
Mark Barisano, WMS Facility Supervisor says such efforts are all in a day and night’s work for the crew, which he says has searched dumpsters and barrels for everything from dental retainers to homework.
The dramatic reunion of necklace and owner came on Tuesday when Monahan paid a visit to Sciera’s room, and the 2 co-workers met for the first time. “And of course we hugged,” Sciera said.