Horace G. Puglisi, 80, of Randolph, VT died Monday, March 6, 2023.

Educator, mentor, husband, father, grandfather, and lifelong learner, Horace was born August 10,1942 in Bridgeport, CT, the son of George and Mary (Dattilo) Puglisi.

Horace was raised in Bridgeport and Stratford, CT among an extended family of grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends. A strong sense of pride for his Italian/Sicilian heritage and a commitment to public education and community service established the foundation for Horace’s vibrancy, indescribable curiosity, and his deeply impactful life.

Horace began his 46 year career in education with the U.S. Peace Corps (RPCV Somalia 1964-1966). Then, after serving as teacher and vice principal in several school districts in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Horace settled in Randolph, Vermont with his family in 1982 when he was appointed principal of Randolph Village School. In 1985 he transitioned to the Essex Town School District, primarily working at Founders Memorial School in various positions in science and math, and as a fifth grade teacher until his retirement in 2009.

Horace’s achievements in education are many. He inspired thousands of children with his creative approaches to learning - particularly in science and math. Horace made learning come alive. Notable programs that he created with an array of collaborators included: “The Sons and Daughters of the Galileo Society”, “Invention Convention,” “A Greener World” Greenhouse, “Medieval Festivals,” “The Hall of Great Scientists,” “The World’s Great Explorers,” “Marshmallow Accelerators,” “The Fiddlehead Gazette,” and many more.

Horace received a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from Danbury State College, a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Western Connecticut State College, a Certificate of Advanced Study in School Administration at the University of Maine, Orono, and a Doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Connecticut. Always learning, Horace embraced continuous education by taking summer classes, teaching at the University of Vermont, and constantly reading and studying topics ranging from botany to etymology.

Horace was well recognized for his creative, innovative, and engaging approach to elementary education. He received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching in 1995, was recognized as a Christa McAuliffe Fellow by the United States Department of Education in 1997, and in 2000 was accepted as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow to study environmental science at Princeton University. Finally, in 2005 Horace was the recipient of the Vermont National Education Association Award for Teaching Excellence. When Horace retired from teaching in 2009 from Founders Elementary School, the staff presented him with an Innovative Ideas Award for his creativity, individuality, and contributions to education over his 46 year career.

Horace’s self-published book, In the Company of Children, 2013, documented his child-centered approach to learning, founded on building relationships with his students based on trust, honesty, humor, and above all, love.

Horace married Seonghi (Theresa) Chun in June 2008 in Randolph, VT. His love of learning and aspiring to excellence extended to his many hobbies and community service, including gardening and landscaping, piano, photography, working out, golf, table tennis, pickleball, tennis, and swimming. In Randolph, Horace served for many years as the musical director for Sts. Donation and Rogation Catholic Church, was president of Montague Golf Club, was a Master Gardener, offered prison ministry, spiritual support and guidance with Tres Dias, and participated in numerous town committees. Over the last twelve years, he spent winters in Green Valley, AZ with his wife and enjoyed feeding the birds, learning about the native plants, and served as president of the Table Tennis Club.

Horace is survived by his wife, Seonghi, of Randolph, VT, daughters, Heather Puglisi and Carrie Puglisi both of Maplewood, NJ; grandsons, Max Inserro, Luca Inserro, and Elliot Lara Puglisi; Step-children, Patricia Donahue of Concord, MA, Rosa Nissenbaum of Stowe, VT, Susan Chun of W. Hartford, CT, Paul Chun of Milton, VT, Matthew Chun of New York, NY; and 13 step-grandchildren.

Calling hours will be on Thursday, March 16 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm at the Day Funeral Home in Randolph, VT. Funeral Services will be Friday, March 17 at 11:00am at Our Lady of the Angels Roman Catholic Church in Randolph.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Mayo Healthcare, Northfield, VT at mayohc.org/donate or Parkinson’s Foundation at www.parkinson.org. An educational fund will be established in his name.

Online condolences may be made at www.dayfunerals.com.

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