There was a gloomy atmosphere throughout Staples today as students and faculty mourned the loss of an exceptional educator and woman, Donna Kenny.
During Kenny’s time at Staples, she was awarded a Celebration of Excellence Developers Grant for her teaching project “Total Immersion, Recipe for Fluency.” Kenny also ran the club Hearts for Hope and overall was remembered as a most kind member of the Staples Community.
“The teachers who were close to her have been very affected by it. It’s something that is not easy to deal with. It was hard to hear; Staples is a family,” Dodig said.
Throughout the day, Dodig and Director of Guidance Elaine Schwartz went to each of Kenny’s classes to inform students of this tragic event. Dodig mentioned that counselling has been set up for mourning teachers and staff.
Guidance counselors, like Christine Talerico, have been working to ensure that everyone makes it through this devastating time.
“A lot of the staff is taking it really hard, harder than the kids. There were a lot of tears down here this morning. She was a great woman and a great teacher. She will be missed around here.”
Daniel Pauker ’16, a student of Kenny’s during his freshman year, was in awe of the whole situation.
“It’s so foreign to me to lose someone like that. She was always someone I could say, ‘Hi,’ to in the hallway and was really friendly to me.”
Connor Rainey ’16, who had Kenny as a teacher this year, praised her work as an educator.
“She was a terrific teacher; she made the class a bright environment.” Despite the news, Rainey was confident about his class moving on. “As a class, we are really close, and we know we can get together and cope with the situation.”
Eric Essagof ’12 said Kenny changed his outlook on learning another language.
“The class was full of kids like me who could not care less about learning the language. This would have discouraged most teachers, but not Mrs. Kenny. Mrs. Kenny taught the class passionately and with the drive of an educator that truly cared about her job. She never viewed me as a lost cause like other teachers had, and I am forever grateful to her for that.”
Staples faculty, students, and alumni will always remember the resilience and strength Donna Kenny had throughout her career and life.
“I just wish I could thank her for not giving up on students like me,” Essagof said.