New Castle News

November 6, 2013

New Castle Schools: Sandy Hook story prompts introspection

Lauren Rearick
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — As Kaitlin Roig shared her story of survival, New Castle Area School District staff reflected on their own roles as educators.

Roig is a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, where she protected her 15 first-graders while a gunman roamed the halls outside her classroom on Dec. 14, 2012, killing 20 students and six teachers.

A scheduled teacher in-service day at New Castke saw local parents, school board members, educators and administrators coming together to hear message yesterday morning.

As Roig emphasized the importance of educators and her own aspirations as a teacher, many in the audience took away a newfound hope and appreciation for their careers.

“It was such a positive, uplifting message,” Dana Joseph, second-grade teacher said. “Thinking about what we could do and how we can look at our students and make everyday worthwhile. We should take everyday and make it meaningful.”

District educators and officials were reminded of how important they are in a student’s life, and how crucial what Roig did for her own students was.

“It was probably the most inspirational message I’ve ever heard,” Jamie Joseph, senior high school math instructor said. “It’s hard to grasp children hearing those sounds, and what they must have been thinking. The parents must be so grateful to her, and it makes you think about giving back.”

The day’s message also impacted those preparing to open the doors of the newly remodeled Lockley Early Learning Center.

“It makes you realize that teachers truly do make a difference in a child’s life,” Debra DeBlasio, Lockley principal, said. “Myself, as well as district officials, have been on top of security at Lockley to make sure the new school is as safe as possible.”

This newly installed security is a feature Lockley educators are looking forward to.

“I’m excited to get into this new school with more protection for our students and with security that makes it easer to protect our students,” Jamie Lynn DeMase, Lockley Kindergarten Center teacher, said. “You hope your own children have teachers like that.”

Fellow educators with children of their own also backed DeMase’s sentiments.

“I hope it doesn’t ever happen again anywhere,” Kate Blundo, learning support said. “My own children go to school and I hope someone would be there for them.

“I learned to really love and appreciate our children and students, and the importance of giving a kind word each day.”