They helped to make us what we are today...
Unfortunately, Paul Matwiy (class of 1968) recently lost his father, Paul Matwiy, Sr. I'm
sure that Mr. Matwiy was known by many of our alumni out there. Paul has graciously
passed on this write-up from the Palm Beach Post to us. Our sympathy goes out to you,
Paul Matwiy, Educator, Rotarian, Dies
By Pilar Ulibarri
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 05, 2005
As the principal, Paul Matwiy often walked around Verde Elementary School in Boca
Raton with a monkey puppet he used to communicate with his students.
Mr. Matwiy, who was the first principal of Verde and J.C. Mitchell Elementary, died
Sunday. He was 86.
Mr.. Matwiy started his career by teaching English and Latin at Delray Elementary in the
early 1950s. He also served as principal of Boca Elementary in the late 1950s.
"In most schools, especially in elementary schools, the principal is seen as an authority
figure that only meets students when they are in trouble," said Mr. Matwiy's son, Paul.
"He wasn't like that."
Instead, Mr. Matwiy established a sense of community at the schools he administered, his
"He empowered teachers so much," his son said of the man who listened to teachers'
ideas and tried to implement them. "Later on when he switched schools, many of his
teachers asked for transfers."
In the mid-1960s when teachers went on strike in Palm Beach County, Mr. Matwiy did
something most administrators would get fired for: He walked out with them.
"And still, later he was appointed principal of Verde," his son said. "It was in recognition
of his work."
Mr. Matwiy helped establish the Rotary Club of Boca Raton in 1957 and had an unbroken
attendance record. Not even a visit to his son in California or his part-time residence in the
mountains of North Carolina kept him from his weekly ritual. He often attended meetings
at other chapters. He was the last charter member of the Rotary Club of Boca Raton.
"Most people don't go to church that much," his son said.
Mr. Matwiy was predeceased by his wife of 36 years, Mary, in 1984 and his daughter,
Barbara, in 1964.
A service will be held at 11 a.m. today at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Boca Raton.