Before he graduated, Senior Aaron Zaino left behind a memorable book in the school library. While other students were scrambling to find and turn in missing library books, he quietly signed his name in John Greenleaf Whittier’s The Barefoot Boy for future students to enjoy.
Aaron, who graduated from the Health Occupations Program, was the model for the illustrations of John Greenleaf Whittier as a boy in the picture book. They were sketched by artist Lisa Greenleaf, a descendent of the famous poet.
When Aaron was in seventh grade, he won the Barefoot Boy Look-Alike Contest sponsored by the Haverhill Whittier Club and trustees of the Whittier Birthplace. Soon after, he spent a day climbing trees and walking barefoot across the lawn at John Greenleaf Whittier’s birthplace in Haverhill, as Lisa sketched him.
Whittier Tech is named after John Greenleaf Whittier and it is fitting that the school own the book, Aaron said. “I’m happy to be able to donate it,” he said. His grandmother, Judi Zaino, a retired Haverhill School principal who teaches in Whittier's Early Education and Care Program, purchased the book and other copies she graciously donated to staff members with young children. The Barefoot Boy signed them all.