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Chelmsford High School Alumni Association

Devaney Family Scholarship
Established 2014

Awarding Criteria:  Will be awarded to a deserving senior who plans to further his or her education.

Sarah M. Devaney or Sally as she was known to childhood friends and around town, chose to raise their four children in Chelmsford with her husband Bob.   Together, they loved every part of this community while watching and involving themselves in the changes over 50 years of residence here. 

The daughter of a surgeon and a nurse, Sarah was raised with high- expectations.  She excelled as a student, graduating first in her class in high school and then graduating with honors from Regis College.  This did not come easily.  She was raised in an atmosphere where hard work was expected and she continuously dedicated herself to reach her potential and even surpass what others thought she was capable of. 

Sarah (Sally) married Robert Devaney in 1959 and moved to Chelmsford in 1960.  Over the next ten years they added four children to their family and decided to stay and raise them in this community.  With a background as a Registered Dietician, Sarah made the move to stay at home and raise her three sons and one daughter. 

“Do not strive to live a life of success – strive to live a life of value.” Albert Einstein

This quote was one of many that Sarah would recite to her children over the years.  “Success”, to her, was becoming “valuable” to those in your family, school, team, church and community.  “Never complain unless you were willing to be an agent of change; lead by example or don’t lead at all; the sign of an intelligent person is one who knows what they know, knows what they do not know, but are willing to make the effort to find out.”  Were some of her other frequent sayings.  Her children all live their lives with these words in mind. 

Education was a key to finding that value she spoke of often.  What was unique about her was she thought as highly of a student in the last quarter of a graduating class as she did in the first quarter…as long as they would strive to be involved, lead and learn. 

Sarah would light up a room with her presence.  She would not only talk to you, she would make it her business to know you.  Why?  Because she wanted to connect to what was important to you.  She especially loved talking about educational opportunities, athletics (the learning part of it) and finance.  She would sit for hours on her beloved porch sorting out her children’s and their friend’s financial future. A spark of positivity mixed in a healthy fashion with realism. 

After losing her battle with cancer in 2009, her family established this scholarship in her memory.  The criteria simple – The recipient should have make valuable strides in their academic career over their four years at CHS, is active in and holds a leadership position in an athletic or other extracurricular activity and GIVES BACK by contributing valuable hours to their church or any other community service. 

GRACE – DIGNITY – and balanced PRIDE.  That is how Sarah is remembered and that is why you have been chosen as the recipient in her honor.