The following is a joint statement from Superintendent Dr. Kathleen Spring and Bradt Principal Michele Whitley:
The Mohonasen community is devastated by the loss of our colleague and friend, Deborah Roman. Deb was a member of this district for nearly 20 years and touched countless lives during that time. She was an amazing woman, stellar teacher, and kind and supportive friend.
To say we are heartbroken is an understatement. Deb was a positive, upbeat, caring person who was a leader of other teachers in the district and always focused on her students.
It takes a unique individual to work with families and students for whom English is a new language. Deb was that person. She had a gift for connecting with her students and their families, making them feel welcome as members of the Mohonasen community.
Since we initially received the news, we have been overwhelmed by the resilience of the faculty, staff and administrators in this district to get through each day and continue to care for and educate our children. We know this has taken amazing strength on the part of everyone here.
We have told our faculty and staff that we will do whatever is necessary to support them through this. We have brought in counselors from our other buildings in the district as well as Hospice. We meet together at the beginning and end of every day to check in and to provide support and comfort for each other. We also use these times to ensure the age-appropriate supports we’ve put in place are meeting the needs of our students.
In these past few days, our community has once again demonstrated what makes Mohonasen so special.
We are grateful and touched by the outpouring of support from our colleagues, the Mohonasen Board of Education, the Mohonasen community as a whole, and our friends and colleagues beyond our district’s borders. We cannot express enough how much we appreciate the words of caring, donations of food for the faculty and staff, and offers of emotional support.
We are grieving right now, and we appreciate that people have respected our need to grieve together in the comfort of our school community. At some point we will begin to talk about how to honor Deb’s memory. However, we know it will take us some time to get to that point.
As we move forward, our thoughts and prayers are with Deb’s son and the rest of her family. We know in time, with the help of each other and this supportive community, our hearts will heal.
Deb has left a lasting impact. Her positive nature and caring, compassionate spirit live on in the many lives she has touched. We are better people for having known her.