October 10, 2018
Dear Parent and/or Guardian,
As you are aware, our school community lost one of our beloved teachers, Mr. Michael, this past weekend. Today, we come to you again with heavy hearts to let you know we have lost another pillar in our school community. Last night, Mrs. Donna Connolly, our math teacher, who has been educating students at Newbury High School since 2000 passed away after a long, courageous battle against cancer. She was a strength and inspiration to all with her compassion for educating students and helping others.
These losses to our school and community have deeply affected us all. We have informed the staff and students about Ms. Connolly’s death and have both school support staff and counselors from local agencies onsite to help process any emotions of grief, loss, or discomfort over the next few days.
As stated before, emotions surrounding grief are normal, especially when having lost two wonderful people within such a short time period. We encourage you to check in with your child on how he or she is feeling. Some emotions you may see are: shock, sadness, confusion, and maybe anger.
This week, students and staff have been participating in activities, such as making cards and memory boards, to help them cope with their feelings of grief. It is our intention to have a celebration of life for both Mr. Michael and Mrs. Connolly as individuals in the future. We will keep you posted as plans are in place. In addition, we will provide information on funeral arrangements as they come available to us if you or your child are interested in attending.
We are here to provide continued support for your child and staff during this difficult time. If you are concerned about your child or if you have questions or concerns regarding how your child is coping please feel free to contact your child’s teacher or any administrator so that we can support him/her through this process.
Dr. Jacqueline Hoynes
Superintendent, Newbury Local Schools