It is with a very heavy heart that I make this call, to share some very sad news with you.
Pine Bush has tragically lost two of our students: one in a house fire last night and the other to cancer last week.
The student who died from complications of her cancer treatment was Marlene Estiverne, a senior who graduated in January. Her family has taken her back to her native Haiti for her funeral. We mourn the loss of life that had just barely begun to explore her life after high school.
A house fire in Gardiner last night has claimed the life of Joseph Hull, a second grader who attended EJR. Joseph’s father, whose name is also Joseph, died in the fire as well, trying to save his son. Funeral arrangements have not yet been finalized. Joe’s sister, Sonya, an EJR fourth grader last year, survived and has been released from Westchester medical Center and she has her mother by her side.
We have all been devastated by this tragic news.
Donna Geidel has activated the CISM team to provide counseling services tomorrow, Monday, July 8, at EJR between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Elizabeth Halsey-Sproul is reaching out to all of the families in Joey’s class and I am reaching out to all of the staff – not just at EJR, but throughout the district.
To make an appointment for counseling, call the EJR main office at 744-2031, ext. 4200.
The shocking loss of such young lives is sobering. As we grieve the death of students from our Pine Bush family, let us also hold those still with us even closer.
Later today, there will be another message from me that I recorded yesterday for distribution today. That is on a totally different topic – my thoughts about Independence Day. Right now, that message seems so much less important than this one. So I am sending this out now.
Let’s keep Marlene, Joe and their families in our thoughts and in our hearts. It is a sad day for us all.
Tim O. Mains
Pine Bush Superintendent