School director memorialized on anniversary of tragedy

Dale Regan, the head of the Episcopal School of Jacksonville, Florida, who was killed in her office one year ago today, was remembered at a memorial service this morning. Students, faculty, family and friends gathered under the majestic old oak tree at the center of the school’s campus, Florida, a spot Regan particularly loved. A fund of $300,000 has been raised in the past year to build a 12,000-square-foot wood deck around “the Great Oak” in Regan’s honor, surrounded by walkways and ramps to protect the tree’s roots from foot traffic and keep it accessible.

Dean Kate Moorehead of St. John’s Cathedral in Jacksonville said that she actually felt God’s peace on the day of Regan’s death, and that God’s peace has sustained the school community in the past year. “The school was Christian,” she said in an interview in this morning’s Florida Times-Union, “…but now it means a lot more. If we hadn’t been a Christian school, I don’t know how we would’ve managed, how we would’ve talked about it.”

Moorehead, who is on the school’s board of trustees and has two sons who attend Episcopal,

recalled March 6, 2012, as a day “of shock and sadness and fear, but … also a day of great peace for me.” The Times-Union reports:

She said she felt God’s presence. She felt the community’s love. … Over the next few months, she’d counsel people who struggled to remember that Regan was more than her tragic death.

“What speaks to us is not her death. What speaks to us is the life she lived.”

Regan was shot in the middle of a school day by Shane Schumerth, a teacher who had been fired earlier, who then turned his gun on himself. Read more about how faith sustained the school community through this tragedy here. An interview with Regan’s son about her legacy is posted here.

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