Miami Herald, March 16, 2000

Beloved Paddler Memorialized--McNulty memorial scholarship seeks donors , Ben Mattison, Herald writer

Thanks to former students and friends, the memory of Coral Park High legend Joe McNulty will be carried on through the Joseph McNulty Memorial Scholarship Fund.

During his heyday as assistant vice principal, McNulty, who died in June, was one of the most well-known and respected figures at the school.

``You'd think that there were three of him,'' says 1972 Coral Park graduate and current Miami-Dade Police Maj. Jim DiBernardo. ``He was always looking around . . . he'd even stand on the roof and look.''

In the days of corporal punishment, those who were caught stirring up trouble were quickly introduced to McNulty and his infamous paddle ``Enforcer.''

However, whatever punishment McNulty dispensed was always followed by a heart-to heart talk and a handshake.

``He was very fair, he wanted the truth, and he wanted you to succeed,'' says DiBernardo.

Many former students, including DiBernardo, say meeting McNulty was among the best things that ever happened to them.

McNulty's widow Miriam recalls that ``over the years we would meet ex-students all over the United States, and I don't know how many said that they would have left school if it weren't for Joe.''

McNulty was fond of saying that if he could just keep the students in school, they'd do all right.

Indeed, McNulty will be helping future students ``do all right'' through the fund, which was his last request.

Started with contributions from former co-workers, students and friends, the scholarship fund is now accepting donations.

It will benefit two Coral Park students who, according to Coral Park administrator Doug Wycoff, ``best emulate the attributes that Joe was known for: commitment, kindness, patience and caring for other people.''

Wycoff said he expects a good response to the request for money to build the fund.

``Upon meeting any alumni from Coral Park who graduated before 1988,'' he says, ``the first person they ask about is Joe McNulty.''

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