[New York, NY] Dr. Barbara Hodges, executive director of the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) and a former Episcopal school head, sent this message to her heads of school yesterday, March 7, 2012. It is a moving tribute to Dale Regan, the head of Episcopal School of Jacksonville who was killed earlier this week. In her message, Dr. Hodges invites all FCIS schools to join in a moment of silence and reflection at 11:00 am (EST), tomorrow, Friday, March 9. This marks the beginning of the public memorial service for Dale on the Episcopal School of Jacksonville campus.
NAES invites all Episcopal schools, churches, and people to join together in this moment, remembering Dale and the community she so loved and served.
TRIBUTE TO DALE REGAN
It is with great sadness that we say goodbye to one of our own, Dale Regan, who was the Head of School of Episcopal School of Jacksonville (ESJ) and the President of the Board of Directors of the Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS). As reported by the media, Dale was fatally wounded yesterday by a teacher, who had been dismissed; the teacher then turned the gun on himself. No other adults or students were involved or hurt.
So what do we do when someone we love and admire is so senselessly taken because of choices of another? I know what Dale would have done if she were in our position. She would have done what she always did; she would have reached out to comfort, to support, to lift up, and to unify the community. Dale was not only an exceptional educator and a courageous leader, but she also had a unique talent for connecting with others and meeting people where they were. So what are we going to do? We are going to follow the model that Dale beautifully unfolded for us.
We would like to invite all 157 FCIS schools to find a way in the next few days to remember Dale, realizing that our schools will respond to this tragedy in different ways. A suggestion from one of our heads was for all of us to join together at a set time for a moment of silence and remembrance. For those of you who would like to participate, we are setting aside Friday at 11 AM for a moment of silence and reflection as the Memorial Service will be starting on the ESJ campus in the Campion Courtyard in Jacksonville. As a matter of note, the memorial service is open to the public. In the days and weeks ahead, FCIS will continue to support the ESJ community and Dale’s family.
As I close this tribute to a special and dear friend, I want to share with you an Irish saying sent to me this morning by Joe McTighe, the Executive Director of the Council for American Private Education (CAPE); the saying was left to Joe and his family by his mother who died in 1996. Reminding me of Dale, it brought me great comfort, as I hope it will bring to you.
“Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as though I were beside you. I loved you so; ‘twas Heaven here with you’.”
So, we are now called, as Dale would do—to comfort, to support, to lift up, and to unify our community. We hold Dale’s family, ESJ, and our FCIS family in our thoughts and prayers.
With great love,
Florida Council of Independent Schools