It is with deep sadness that I write to tell you that our beloved Kindergarten Teacher, Sherry Moman, passed away yesterday following her battle with cancer.
Knowing Sherry’s wishes and following conversations with Toni McDonnell, Sherry’s longtime teaching partner, and Miranda Featherstone, our social worker, we shared the news in the classrooms this morning. Children were told that Sherry was sick and under the care of her doctors to feel better. We explained that Sherry’s illness was different from a cold or flu—that something in her body was not working right. We told the children that although the doctors were able to help Sherry feel better, they weren’t able to make her well again. Children made connections to people they knew who had been ill or died, and shared their fond memories of Sherry.
Following the news, this week Miranda and I are making ourselves available in the classrooms and in the library at lunch choice for anyone wishing to gather or talk with a supportive adult. All of us are reassuring the children that there will be opportunities for us to gather as a community to celebrate, honor, and remember Sherry. We will communicate more details on this as they become known to us.
This afternoon, counselors from Peter’s Place will be here at Miquon supporting staff as they process the loss of a colleague and offering them tools for supporting children.
Over the course of her illness, Sherry did not share too many details. We will continue to respect her and her family’s privacy with regard to specifics. As the days and weeks move forward here at Miquon, we know children may have bigger questions about why this happens or what happens to people after they die. At Miquon, our approach is to follow their lead, asking what they think and being okay with saying that we don’t have all the answers. Children—like adults—experience death and loss in different ways, some of which may seem surprising to us. We ask that families make time to discuss your own beliefs with your children at home, and offer the supports that you think best for your child.
Children and time spent at Miquon were among Sherry’s greatest joys. We are comforted that she was able to spend this past fall with all of us, teaching in the Kindergarten two days a week with Toni and Elisa Rosenwinkel. Sherry said many times over the past several months that her time in the Miquon Kindergarten was when she felt her best and happiest.
Please reach out to me directly with any questions.
There will be A Celebration of Life held on the Miquon Campus on April 7.
You can find Sherry’s obituary here.