The Brownsville, Brooklyn, community is reeling as news hit that one of their beloved principals has died from coronavirus complications. Dezann Romain, who ran Brooklyn Democracy Academy, is one of the city’s first public school officials to succumb to the epidemic, the New York Post reported.
She was only 36 years old.
“It is with profound sadness and overwhelming grief that we announce the passing of our sister, CSA member Dezann Romain, principal of Brooklyn Democracy Academy, due to complications from coronavirus,” said in a statement on Monday.
“Our prayers are with her family and school community as we mourn alongside them. Please keep Principal Romain in your thoughts and continue to do everything possible to keep yourselves and your loved ones safe during this health crisis.”
The Post noted that between 2016 and 2017, Romain was promoted to principal of the institution that caters to transfer students who had struggled at traditional high schools.
Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza also offered his condolences and called for others in the Brooklyn community to support one another even more in the wake of the popular principal’s tragic death.
“We’re all experiencing a deep sense of confusion, uncertainty and sadness, and it’s more important than ever to provide support to one another. We’ll be there for the students and staff through whatever means necessary during this impossibly difficult time,” he said.
According to Chalkbeat, Romain worked hard to make the school part of the “fabric of the community,” “never pitied her students” and was a “dedicated professional” educator.
“She gave her entire self to that community, and it did not matter how incredibly complex a problem was,” Courtney Winkfield, one of Romain’s mentors told the website. “She was always rolling her sleeves up to do whatever she could to solve it.”
“She never pitied her students. She never second-guessed what she was there to do,” he said. “She took every kid as her mission.”
Paul Rotondo, the superintendent who oversees NYC’s transfer schools, shared that he was “absolutely devastated at the loss of such a young, dedicated professional woman.”
“She gave her all for every teacher and staff member,” he added. “It will be a long time before we’re able to fill her shoes.”
While New York Public Schools have been closed since March 16, administration and teachers were still asked to report to work three days last week, Chalkbeat noted. Also, officials wouldn’t provide the website any answers about when “Romain fell ill, when the city learned of her illness, and what steps were taken, if any, to inform or protect the school community.”
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