PEABODY — City and school officials will join members of the Recess for Randi group this Saturday, Oct. 16, to dedicate a new playground in memory of Randi Lemenager at the Capt. Samuel Brown Elementary School.
The Randi Lemenager Memorial Playground is an all-inclusive play space that features ramps, a synthetic grass flooring, and a Picture Exchange Communication System, which consists of a board with pictures on it that allows children with autism or those who are nonverbal to point to a picture to communicate.
Lemenager graduated as valedictorian from Westfield State University in 2017 with a degree in special education. She began her career as a special education teacher at the Brown School and then as a teacher for the school’s co-taught inclusion program for students with autism. She passed away on Aug. 1, 2017, at age 22.
“This wonderful new playground is a tribute to Randi Lemenager’s giving spirit,” said Mayor Ted Bettencourt in an announcement. “Randi was committed to providing opportunities for children of all abilities so it is fitting that Brown School’s all-inclusive playground bear her name.”
Bettencourt said the project was a “true team effort.” In fact, the opening of the playground was delayed for more than a year after standard safety testing revealed some issues with the new play surface that needed to be fixed.
The ceremony Saturday is scheduled for 2 p.m. The school is located at 150 Lynn St. in Peabody.