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January 31, 2013

Al Swekla dies at 86; longtime Gloucester educator, city official

Alphonse “Al” Swekla, who served for 39 years as a Gloucester teacher, coach, principal and superintendent of schools and then as a city councilor and School Committee member, has died at the age of 86.

Swekla died last night after a lengthy battle with a longstanding heart condition, according to his family.

Among other positions, Swekla, who started his career as a scince teacher in 1952, served as the last principal at the old Central Grammar School before it shut down, and moved to O’Maley Middle School when it opened in 1972.

He later served as the city’s superintendent of schools from 1985 through ‘88, then served 10 years as an elected city councilor and school committee member. More recently, he had also been active in a grass roots push to preserve and improve staffing at Addison Gilbert Hospital, as president of the Addison Gilbert Citizens Hospital Fund.

We will update this story here at gloucestertimes.com as more information becomes available. For much more on this story, look to tomorrow’s print and online editions of the Gloucester Daily Times and gloucestertimes.com.

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