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BY CHRISTINE PHELAN, Valley Dispatch Staff

DRACUT — In 1950, the average Dracut teacher’s salary was $1,441. Minimum wage was 43 cents an hour. Truman was president, milk in glass bottles was ferried to doorsteps, and the Dracut Speedway still hummed with activity.

It was the same year that Christos Daoulas — son of Greek immigrants, a World War II veteran and several newly minted degrees from Boston University — began a career in education that would stretch over the next five decades that began in the classroom and ended with the town’s highest educational office: the superintendency.

“His service is unmatched, and most likely will never be matched again,” said School Committee member May Paquette. “Fifty years in education — What a magnificent feat.”

Daoulas’ lengthy tenure and protracted dedication was feted by hundreds during a ceremony tlast weekend to unveil a monument in his name that officially christened Dracut’s four school complex in his name. The 10-foot granite stone, on the western edge of the school’s drive, was unveiled amidst the morning’s persistent drizzle, erected from donations from more than 110 businesses and individuals in gifts of $25 to more than $5,000.

Daoulas, now in his 80s, appointed superintendent in 1962 and served nearly four decades before retiring in 2000.

Speaking slowly and with precision, Daoulas professed feeling both humbled and grateful at the outpouring.

“Whenever I look upon that monument, I’ll be reminded that the children entrusted in our care are the ones who are destined to paint the portrait of our town as it will be known,” he said. “It’s so pleasing to be recognized, and not forgotten.”

Have a story idea? Contact Christine Phelan’ at cphelan@thevalleydispatch.com.