Joe O'Hare

Joe O’Hare joined the Board of Directors in May 2020. He was born, raised, educated, and currently resides in Holyoke. After college graduation, Joe worked for 30 years as an Operational Manager for Tyco Healthcare and Health New England. Eight years ago he changed his profession to fulltime teacher working with special needs students in Holyoke.

Joe was first introduced to The Bureau for Exceptional Children and Adults in 1977, some 42 years ago, and joined a young group of volunteers that helped facilitate the beginning of Jericho’s Therapeutic Horseback Riding Program. Joe’s passion for horses coupled with his interest in helping the local disabled population became a lifelong priority and he has remained a part of the Jericho family to the present day.

As Jericho grew in size with many new programs created for the Western Massachusetts disabled community, Joe also became a volunteer for the Special Religious Education Program, The Jericho Players Theatrical Group as well as helping with the square dance groups and Bingo Fundraisers. He also became an advocate for parents in need of help with their children's religious and liturgical growth.

“Father Wagner and Sr. Joan Magnani played an important part in my teen years as mentors and teachers with my faith with God. They helped me and numerous other teen volunteers shape our moral, ethical, and religious belief systems by their dedication to the critical need for religious education classes and services for people with special needs in Western Massachusetts. Our growth as young adults was positively influenced by the religious growth and inclusion of programs long overdue for the special needs community. My experience working with the special needs population at Jericho was an integral part of my career change as a teacher of students with different abilities. I look forward to working on the Board of Directors and giving back to a community that has blessed my life exponentially."