RHS Supports Long-Time Bulldog, Jim Cahill

Jim Cahill at the 2013 Senior Banquet.

Jasmin Morse, Veritas Editor-in-Chief and Web Editor

February 12, 2019

Through the years at Rockland High School one person has always been there as a Bulldog fan.  Jim Cahill, English Department Head, Carol Cahill’s youngest brother, is a familiar face to all at RHS and in the town of Rockland as well.

Whether it be exceptional attendance at RHS athletic events, yearly presence at the town’s Holiday Stroll, or all around support and good spirit for all things Rockland, Jimmy or “Jimbo” as he is affectionately known, has been one of the town’s biggest fans and supporters.

Ms. Cahill recalls that growing up with her family in Rockland, all of Jimmy’s six older siblings, attended RHS. However, Jim attended Cardinal Cushing School in Hanover.

Despite this, he maintained a connection to the community by attending school activities such as sporting events, plays, and fundraisers.

Ms. Cahill said, “The connection he has built with the school as a fan and community member means the world to him.”

Recently, Jim has had some health issues. In the beginning of this school year he had lung surgery at South Shore Hospital. In January, he again needed surgery this time at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

It was then that Jimmy wrote to the students and staff of RHS asking for their support.

After Vice Principal Kathy Paulding shared the letter with RHS faculty and staff, students and staff rallied together to send many warm wishes of good health and a speedy recovery.  English teacher, Christopher Neal had his students sign and make cards while English teacher Kristen Walsh  came up with the idea to make a get-well video. With the help of digital media and journalism teacher, David Cable-Murphy and his students, particularly senior Molly Grass, kids and teachers were filmed wishing Jimmy a speedy recovery.

You can see the video on our website by clicking here: Get Well Jimmy video

Additionally, RHS’s athletic director, Gary Graziano gave Jimmy some Bulldog pride t- shirts to go along with Principal Dr. John Harrison’s gift of a cozy Bulldog blanket.

Ms. Cahill explained, “There were all kinds of people involved.”  She called the response “big time,” emphasizing how the support system at RHS helped him greatly and “really brightened his day” through the rough recovery periods after his surgery.  “Jim is a people person, and for him to know that so many people were cheering him on helped him get through some pretty unpleasant days.”

In response to the video Jimmy said, “I felt happy and excited because it gave me happiness.”

Jim also recalled what he loves about being a Bulldog. From the team name to the colors and the team sport, he says he loves everything about it but, most importantly, he highlighted “the pride of what Rockland has.”

Rockland has always had the reputation as a determined underdog, and has also been known to support and encourage those such as Jim.

Ms. Cahill emphasized that the town truly has proved this over the past year of Jimmy’s illness journey. She noted that the support and turn-out in the community “has been very reaffirming to us.”

This pride and love for the town is what inspired the Cahill family to create the “Jimbo Award” fifteen years ago.

This award of $500 is presented at the senior athletic awards ceremony at the end of the school year to a member of the graduating class who, according to Ms. Cahill, “best displays the spirit of RHS athletics.”

The recipient of this award, she said, “demonstrates enthusiasm, loyalty and team spirit.”

Last year, Jim presented the award  to winner, Joseph Yeadon.

Currently, Jimmy is out of the hospital and says he’s been feeling “much better lately.” He also says that the support “feels great and wonderful.”

All in all, the Bulldog community is  looking forward to seeing Jimmy back in good health at RHS, where he will always have a spot in the stands, and a special place at any RHS event.

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