The primary purpose of the B.M.C. Durfee Alumni website is to encourage contact among fellow alumni through reunions, publications, and through person-to-person contact.
Durfee High School Alumni Meeting Dates
2019 - 2020
Tradewinds Restaurant at 6 P. M.
September 9, 2019
October 7, 2019 January 13, 2020 April 13, 2020
November 4, 2019 February 10, 2020 May 11, 2020
December 9, 2019 March 9, 2020 June 8, 2020
The Durfee High School Alumni Annual Meeting will be held on May 20, 2020, in the Nagle Auditorium starting at 7:30 PM. View this year's program here
We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of a fellow Durfee Alumni, Sergeant First Class Eric Michael Emond.
2019 Distinguished Alumni Recipient
Jerri Kaplan Sher
JERRI KAPLAN SHER is a two-time EMMY Award-winning filmmaker in Hollywood. A member of the Director's Guild of America (DGA) since 1998, she has completed 24 film and television projects. She is in post-production on QUIET EXPLOSIONS: Healing the Brain, a documentary feature about Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) in veterans, athletes and civilians. LIVE LIFE (healing through alternative medicine) her 12-part television series has been licensed by Discovery Communications. These shows will impact people worldwide to give them a better life. Her short film STEP UP is part of a presentation SANTA MONICA CARES which she created for City/TV Santa Monica and the Directors Guild of America, and garnered her the 2 EMMYS. STEP UP tells the story of Leroy, a depressed homeless man for 16 years who finds relief from a charity that gave him his permanent home.
Ms. Sher was the writer and producer of the Retrospective Tribute Film honoring Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) for the DGA’s 75th Anniversary Gala. She also wrote and produced a film honoring Betty Thomas (Private Parts, Alvin and the Chipmunks), Mimi Leder (Deep Impact, Pay it Forward) and Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) for the Women’s Steering Committee of the DGA. Her short film LIVE LIFE A-Z won the My Hero International Film Festival. SOUL OF AN EMPIRE, about the rebirth of 42nd St. NYC, won the Best Documentary Feature Award at the Big Bear Lake International Film Festival, The TampaBay Festival and the Special Jury Award at The Savannah Film & Video Festival.
A native from Fall River, Massachusetts, Jerri graduated from BMC Durfee High School in 1966; then earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts, Cum Laude from the University of MA at Amherst and a Masters in Art Education, Magna Cum Laude from Springfield College. She became an art Professor at Springfield College and then at Endicott College after teaching in public schools K-12.
About 25 years ago when she was living in Marblehead, MA, an astrologer told her that she would be in movies and would impact the world in a big way about health and healing. In the early 80's she was on her second career as a sales and marketing manager for GOD (Guaranteed Overnight Delivery) Trucking Company in the Northeast. At this company she was trained by Anthony Robbins, author and entrepreneur. Previously she had been with Interstate Motor Freight (MI), Preston the 151 Line (MD) and True Transport (NJ) negotiating the freight contracts for fortune 500 companies. Little did she know that working in the transportation industry was teaching her all the necessary skills to become a Producer, especially working with the teamsters. This experience coupled with her first career as an art professor gave her the idea for her first novel. The Twig Painter is a story about a woman (former CIA) in the trucking business who delves into a medical mystery about the cure for HIV/AIDS. This book spring-boarded a girl from Fall River to become not only a member of the Director’s Guild but also a two-time EMMY winner. Maybe it is not a coincidence that she has been approached to film a documentary in Swaziland, in Southern Africa; the country with the highest percentage of AIDS victims in the world.
Ms. Sher was the keynote speaker on Princess Cruise Lines World tour from Papeete, Tahiti to Sydney, Australia. Her topics included “Creative Writing” and “Using Documentary Films to Make the World a Healthier Place.” She has taught and guest lectured at several universities throughout the country and abroad.
Her second book, How to Have A Successful Bridal Shower A to Z, just became a national #1 best seller on Amazon. Jerri resides in Los Angeles with her husband, Alan, and is on the Board of Directors of the W Hotel Residences where she lives. Her 5 grandchildren keep her very busy in between movie projects. The Sher's will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary in August. www.jerrisher.com
Help Support Raising Funds for Scholarships!
Still Available 2019
Durfee Ornaments (3 1/4" round)
Imprinted on both sides
Funds Raised for Durfee Scholarships
Cost $10.00 Shipping $3.95 Total $13.95
Mail your check made payable to:
Durfee Alumni Assoc.
PO Box 9656
Fall River, MA 02720-0011
or Purchase using PayPal by clicking here
2019 Distinguished Alumni Recipient
Christopher J. Fontes
Christopher (Chris) Fontes is a research scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory
(LANL) in New Mexico. He has co-authored more than 100 articles on fundamental
atomic physics and its application to a broad range of physics problems, including
nuclear fusion and astrophysics. For the past 27 years, he has given presentations on these subjects throughout the world. Chris’ most recent work includes trying to understand the light emitted from neutron star mergers which is related to the December 2017 Nobel Prize in physics awarded for gravitational wave observation. He has received a number of awards and recently became a Fellow of the American Physical Society. He currently serves as the Chair of the LANL Postdoc Committee.
After graduating from Durfee High School in 1983, he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in physics (summa cum laude) with a minor in French from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1987. Then he attended graduate school at the Pennsylvania State University, receiving a PhD in theoretical atomic physics in 1992. That year, he accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he has been employed ever since.
The physicist credits his Fall River upbringing and four years at Durfee with fostering the characteristics of grit. Making significant advances in basic scientific research requires a combination of creativity and tenacity, qualities that were nurtured by his teachers and mentors who instilled an appreciation for critical thinking and resilience. He particularly remembers a program called Special Abilities (SA) that provided students with an opportunity to take extra science and French classes during 3rd through 8th grades at the Belisle, Healy, Slade and Kuss schools. The SA program promoted a sense of excitement and adventure about learning that continued through to Durfee and beyond.
In addition to pursuing a career in science, Chris is a life-long athlete. He participates in a range of sports and is a world-class ultimate frisbee player, having won national and world championships over the past 30 years. Chris is the son of Anthony and the late Vivian (Thomas) Fontes of Fall River. He currently resides in Los Alamos, NM with his wife, Julie.
BMC Durfee High School
Fall River, MA
In the original building