" It Matters" Cairn Garden

In memory of Paul Duquette



The Jefferson Cup


Paul Duquette was a dedicated and much loved teacher at King Philip Middle School in West Hartford. Paul left a legacy of goodness and kindness that knew no bounds.

Each year Paul asked his students to write what matters to them in the world in the first couple weeks of school. Paul and his teammates hung the words " It Matters " in their classroom .

Family and Friends created a Go Fund me page to raise funds to create an annual "It Matters" award and a permanent cairn rock garden at King Philip. The garden is open for all to enjoy a quiet moment. Enter from the Mohawk Drive entrance .

To Honor Paul's love of History each year one 8th grade student is selected for the "It Matters " Jefferson Cup award given at the annual Awards Ceremony in June .

The student selected best exemplifies the following:

  • brings out the best in others without drawing attention to themselves;
  • does their best academically, socially (does not have to be a star, just has to try);
  • has a positive attitude (he/she makes “it matter” every day);
  • reaches out to the KP community to make people feel better;
  • an all-round good, kind student;
  • touches others’ hearts.

Award Recipients :

2016 Awarded to Jack Gaumer

2017 Awarded to Liv Drazen

History of the Jefferson Cup

Thomas Jefferson first created his iconic cups in 1810. A close friend of his, George Wythe, had bequeathed Jefferson his collection of silver vessels. These cups were melted down, and Jefferson commissioned a new design through famed silversmith John Letelier and created a set of eight cups.

For the entirety of Jefferson's life, the cups remained at his home at Monticello. After his death, the cups were divided among Martha Jefferson Randolph's children and grandson. Six of the Jefferson cups are still preserved but two remain missing.

Memorial Bench built by Derek Duval Technology Education teacher at King Philip :