Evan Remley, chair of the English Department at New Canaan High School, used to see fellow teacher Kelly Devine every day during passing time, standing outside her classroom and greeting students with a smile. It became part of his routine to encounter the beloved NCHS figure this way, and eventually, Remley recalled, he came to rely on “her steady, optimistic and kind soul to cheer me up.”
“One day I asked her, ‘How can you possibly be so cordial and peppy every morning?’ ” Remley recalled Thursday with a smile, addressing 100 of Devine’s family members, friends, colleagues and former students gathered in front of the high school on a brisk, sunny afternoon. “She smiled and laughed in her infectious way and explained that it had just become a habit. It was second nature to her, being kind and open. Kelly always knew what is so easy for the rest of us to forget: Appreciate the people in your life.