George Staiti -Ware High School Graduate, Class of 1965
Born and raised in Ware, I attended the former Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parochial School and Ware High School. Going from a cloistered elementary school with a class size of 19 students to a public high school with a class of over 100 students seemed daunting at first. Changing periods every 42 minutes and having a locker was exciting, but confusing at times. Soon all settled down and it was down to the business of public education.
I took the College Prep route, hoping that college was in my future. I found the classes challenging, yet interesting. The options were limited back then, but still there were some. I studied the regular courses, but also took Latin and French, the only 2 foreign languages offered at the time.
After high school I ventured off to college for a year. Still not knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up I decided to take a break from college and joined the US Navy. There I was tested for various fields and showed an aptitude for foreign languages. Remember, I attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel, where half the day’s lessons were in French!
I was then off to language school, in an emersion 9 month class, in wonderful Monterey, CA where I studied Russian. From the beginning class learning the alphabet to the ending classes of reading, writing and speaking it fluently it was a most aggressive learning experience for me.
The US Navy then sent me off to Naval Intelligence training, where I obtained a Top Secret Cryptographic security clearance, establishing the remainder of my naval career, with assignments in Turkey and Japan. Who would have thought that a Ware boy would end up in Naval Intelligence? I recall many locals all abuzz when the security checks were being made on me in Ware.
After my Navy career I returned to Ware to return to college. Soon thereafter love found me and I wed and started a family. I then worked full time and finished my undergrad studies at UMASS, Amherst earning a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in 1979, at the age of 32.
My work career started with an opportunity to serve as a Government Contract Administrator for a contract awarded to a local machine shop. Working for the machine shop, the position required administrative skills and detailed analysis of government contracts. It was fascinating to me, and lasted several years.
During this period of employment, I also had the opportunity to serve in various administrative positions, ranging from Office Manager, Payroll Manager, Purchasing, Bookkeeping, and Expediting. All were intriguing to me, and I discovered that learning various administrative fields was beneficial to my career.
I was then offered a position in production at another local industry, where I stayed for several years. That was followed by positions in customer service, sales, and again in contract administration. Each position I held gave me more understanding of industry as a whole, making me a more valuable employee who could “talk” with other departments. I was never stuck in a rut, so to speak.
The economy tanked in 1992 and I was downsized. I decided to go into business for myself and sell real estate. I had had my license for 8 years already. I opened my own firm and sold locally for about 4 years.
A local co-operative bank then offered me a position as a mortgage officer, which I took, and started my new adventure in the world of finance. During my 12 year tenure at the bank I advanced to various positions of branch management, consumer compliance officer, security officer, mortgage underwriting, and ultimately retiring from a Senior Management position.
In reviewing my career, I realize that as a local, born and raised in Ware, and having lived in town all but 8 years, all of which I lived in the surrounding communities, I am proud of my work history. I attribute it all to the upbringing I had in Ware, surrounded by a loving family, many friends, and a good education, both in the parochial elementary school and the public high school.
My town, the town of Ware, MA, has been good to, and for, me. I am proud to be a resident, grateful for what the town has given me, both in education and experience, and honored and pleased that I am now in a position to give back to Ware, by serving on various municipal boards, committees, and volunteering opportunities.
Everyone in Ware has opportunities to seize.