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Longtime special ed teacher remembered as Mr. Platt

MERIDEN — It was at a young age that Martin Moore discovered what he wanted to do for a living. Moore volunteered at the John J. Nerden Summer Camp when he was 12, working with developmentally challenged children.

The work as a volunteer led to Moore’s 28-year career as a special education teacher at Platt High School, a school he graduated from in 1980.

“Who knew that would have been his life avocation or vocation,” said Sean Moore, one of Martin Moore’s two brothers and president of the Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce. “It was his life’s work and really kept him very active for years.

Martin Moore died last week at the age of 51. Since February, he had been battling esophageal cancer and succumbed to it last Monday, Sean Moore said. A wake was held Friday at St. Joseph Church, followed by a funeral Saturday.

Having heard from a “great number of well-wishers,” Sean Moore said there was a consistent theme that not only had his brother affected lives at Platt but also as an adjunct professor at Southern Connecticut State University. Martin Moore’s enthusiasm as a special needs educator, Sean Moore said, left a lasting impression on students and colleagues.

“He inspired a whole lot of others to go into that business, so his legacy is continuing on,” Sean Moore said, proudly.

Martin Moore was a popular figure in the Platt community, said the school’s principal Robert Montemurro. In addition to his constant enthusiasm, Montemurro said Martin Moore was heavily involved in organizing events and fundraisers, was a class sponsor and a leader among the staff.

“You talk about Mr. Platt, he is Mr. Platt,” Montemurro said.

Montemurro first worked with Martin Moore as a special education teacher before taking over as an assistant principal and later principal of their alma mater.

“There’s about 30 teachers here that graduated from Platt and we’ve known each other for a long time...It’s been a tough couple weeks,” Montemurro said. “We were all lucky enough to work with him for as long as we did and that has been reiterated by all of the staff. He was a special person...He fought to the very end.”

As a freshman, Sue Vitcavage met Martin Moore who was then a senior. The two were in the school’s production of Fiddler on the Roof together.

“He was amazing and it was just unbelievable the way he could dance,” said Vitcavage.

Vitcavage, now a Platt guidance counselor, said she loved working with Moore and was always impressed with the amount of work he undertook.

“He was active in every single thing Platt did and he was so proud of Platt,” she said. “Even in the fall he was helping out the (marching) band. He coordinated graduation for the last 10 years or so...He was truly a special man.”

In addition to being a special education teacher at Platt and at Southern, which he also earned three degrees from, Martin Moore also taught adult education and provided interpreting services for the hearing impaired. He was also musically inclined, participating in various drum corps and marching bands, Sean Moore said.

Martin Moore was the father of three children — Griffin, Brennan and Morgan — and husband of Jeanne Moore. 203-317-2266 Twitter: @DanBrechlinRJ

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