None other than Mr.Bill Grady

Kelly Ryan , Correspondent

Who can be found teaching away in his “I Love Lucy” memorabilia-packed social studies classroom, yelling out stage directions from his director’s chair at Nashoba Drama’s play rehearsals or filling the theater marquee at the Strand with the name of an upcoming film?
For those of you who don’t know by now, this man is none other than Mr. Bill Grady.
Among plenty of positions Bill holds, being a teacher, a director, and the owner Strand theater would have to rank at the top of his list.

Any Lancaster kid can tell you how much they love “Mr. Grady.” He teaches 8th grade Social Studies at Luther Burbank Middle School, and has been for 35 years, 28 of those being for Nashoba. From playing his music on his old fashioned radio, stationed right in his classroom, to bringing them on a trip to Washington D.C. to having his students dress up as icons from each decade, Mr. Grady has always been the favorite of the 8th graders in Lancaster. “It’s really exciting. I love teaching. I love bringing excitement to the kids,” Bill says. But, many of us will be saddened to hear that Mr. Grady won’t be wandering the halls of Burbank for much longer. “It’s been a great run being a teacher… but, like anything, there will be a time when it’s time to say goodbye. I’m planning within the next year or so that it’ll be time to move on and leave the reins to somebody else who will, hopefully, love it and enjoy it as much as I do,” he says. And he will be greatly, greatly missed. Aside from teaching, Bill Grady leads Nashoba kids on the theater stage. He has been the director of Nashoba Drama’s productions for 22 years and has made a name for himself every step of the way. “It’s just really fun, really exciting. I love working with the kids. I think it’s part of what keeps me young because I’m constantly surrounded by younger people. It gives me a chance to really kind of put out my creativeness in putting on shows,” Bill says about directing. And his cast can’t say enough good things about him. One of his cast members, Senior Rebecca Worden, speaks very highly of Bill. “Never have I known someone who can almost magically capture the attention of a group of high school students and [impress] them with [his] wisdom, pride and confidence the way that Bill Grady does,” says Worden. The productions Mr. Grady puts on are truly spectacular and are an unbelievable testament to his creative eye for theater. Hopefully, Bill will stick around as director even though he’s moving on from teaching! As for The Strand, well, if you ever stop by on a Sunday afternoon, you’ll see Bill in the same seat every week, enjoying the newest film. This theater has always been a part of his life. For years and years, he had wondered if it would ever be possible for him to own his favorite movie theater.

Gingold Photography

When the opportunity came a couple years ago to take it over, Bill and his partner Rob took on the challenge. “It’s been just a really fun and exciting experience as owner. That’ll be my future plans once I’m done teaching. I will spend more time there for sure.” Outside of The Strand, teaching, and directing, Bill *claims* he does nothing. He says there is little time left after all of that. His plans for retirement aren’t quite planned out yet. “I don’t know, I may get a job at Hannaford’s and be a bag boy. That’s where I started and that’s where I can end,” he jokes. “I don’t plan on just sitting at home at all because I’ll go out of my mind. I will keep busy!” So where’s Bill headed? He’s bound to do amazing things behind the scenes of Nashoba Drama’s upcoming plays and musicals, and he will certainly be making more appearances and contributions to his movie theater. “I’ve got The Strand! And I hope to be able to continue with drama because that’s a passion.” Bill deserves the best of luck with his retirement, and a great thanks for everything he has done for the community for so many years. Wherever his path may lead, it will have success written all over it.