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Springfield Middle School Principal Who Came Out As Transgender Honored At City's Pride Event

   A middle school principal in Springfield, Massachusetts, who recently came out publicly as a transgender man was honored at the city’s annual LGBTQ pride flag raising. 

    Chestnut Middle School Principal Declan O’Connor, who for years was known professionally as Colleen O’Connor, said it had become too exhausting to hide the truth.

     " I certainly didn't do this to be a role model, I did it because I needed to tell the truth about myself and be my full and authentic self in my public life," O'Connor said in an interview.

    Mayor Domenic Sarno issued a proclamation declaring O’Connor has “the full and unwavering support of our community.”

    A 23-year veteran educator in Springfield, O’Connor has ,over the last four years,overseen a dramatic improvement in Chestnut Middle school’s academic rankings.

The record-setting tenure of Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno. The 2011 tornado and its recovery that remade the largest city in Western Massachusetts. The fallout from the deadly COVID outbreak at the Holyoke Soldiers Home. Those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of stories WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill has covered for WAMC in his nearly 17 years with the station.