Community mourns Regan, loss of innocence

Community mourns Regan, loss of innocence

time last year, the community gathered at Episcopal High School to
celebrate a project near and dear to the heart of Head of School Dale
Regan — the dedication of Parks and Lastinger halls. In a sad turn of
events, the community will again convene between the two buildings to
memorialize Regan, who lost her life on March 6.

The memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on March 9 in Campion Courtyard, a pristine setting between the two halls.

Regan, who has worked at Episcopal since 1978 and served as its
Head of School for the past six years, was killed in her office this
week by former Spanish teacher Shane Schumerth. Schumerth had been
terminated earlier in the day for “failing to meet the expectations of
the school.” A statement from Episcopal said Schumerth was repeatedly
counseled for “issues associated with attendance and a lack of
timeliness in complying with the requirements of the position.” After
being fired, Schumerth returned to the school with an AK-47 hidden in a
guitar case and shot Regan multiple times in her office before killing

No students or faculty were hurt, although the school was on
lockdown for more than an hour before students were able to leave. The
school has been closed since Tuesday and is expected to reopen at the
end of spring break on March 19.

The event has been described as one of the worst tragedies in recent history to affect the community on such a level.

Regan leaves a rich legacy in the field of education and in the
community. This summer, she was named an EVE Award for Education winner
by The Florida Times-Union. She came to Episcopal as a teacher from
Sandalwood High School in 1978 and moved into the Head of School
position after many years of teaching English.

Through social media sources and other local outlets, many in the
community have expressed their love and appreciation for Regan —
recalling her smile, the way she remembered all students and for the way
she modeled professionalism, good citizenship, faith and integrity.
According to her obituary, she attended neighborhood schools Landon
Middle School and Wolfson High School before attending Florida State
University and the University of North Florida, where she received her
master’s degree. She is survived by two sons, John and Duke, as well as a
sister, Denise Hunt and her parents, Allen and Charlotte Duke.

The family requests donations be made to the Dale D. Regan Memorial Fund at the Episcopal School of Jacksonville.

GO GIVERS: Kayla Johnson

GO GIVERS: Kayla Johnson

Kayla Johnson,
22, is a Jacksonville native who lives right on the edge of San Marco where it
joins San Jose and has always felt part of both neighborhoods. She will soon
graduate with her degree in early childhood education and the goal of
continuing on to earn her master’s degree. Johnson’s volunteer work at DLC
(Developmental Learning Center) Nurse & Learn began as a fulfillment of her
degree requirement, but became much more. She believes it confirmed and
strengthened her desire to specialize in the field of special education.

I was a very little girl, I would pretend that I was teaching my dolls for
hours on end, according to my mother. I think I have always known that I would
teach children, but did not realize I would be so strongly drawn to those with
special needs. I just enjoy interacting with these special kids,” she said.

praised the DLC for its inclusion classes, which bring normally developing
children together with children who have disabilities or special needs. Playing
and learning together at such a young age is wonderful for both groups,
according to Johnson.

are not enough programs available that offer inclusion classes, nor are there
enough openings in those classes for all the children who could benefit. The
children play and learn alongside each other and accept their many differences
in such a natural way. It is a beautiful thing to see them all so happy to be
together and to know they will grow into more compassionate and understanding
adults as a result of their experience in such a diverse, inclusive school,”
Johnson said.

is only the latest community involvement for Johnson, who began to volunteer
during her teens. For three summers, ten hours a week, during high school,
Johnson helped children complete creative arts and crafts projects at Nemours
Children’s Clinic while they waited for their appointments.

not only has a heart for children with disabilities and chronic conditions, she
also is very aware of the many children who face separation that may be long-term
or permanent from one or both parents. She is a longtime supporter of
Angel Tree Christmas, a program of Prison Fellowship. The organization is a
non-profit, Christian charity that sponsors Angel Tree Christmas as a way to
help imprisoned parents maintain their bond with their children. The program
seeks to connect imprisoned parents with their families through the delivery of
Christmas gifts. More than 1.7 million children spend Christmas separated from
their mom or dad, according to the organization.

Fellowship also offers many other programs for inmates and their families,
according to Johnson. The children of inmates suffer during the separation and
can best be described as the invisible, often forgotten victims of their
parent’s mistakes. Prison Fellowship is the only national ministry to focus
attention on the children of inmates. Their research has shown that 1 in 3
prisoners is a parent and approximately 75% of women prisoners are mothers.

Fellowship is such a great organization because not only do they make sure a
parent in prison can give his or her child a gift at Christmas, but they work
to help the inmates and families in so many different ways. They also assist
inmates in the difficult task of assimilating back into their families and the
community when they are released,” Johnson said.

surprisingly, Johnson’s mother Myra Johnson is also a teacher. She instructs
Spanish at Douglas Anderson School of the Arts and has been a volunteer in the
community. Mrs. Johnson coordinated the Dreams Come True group at Douglas
Anderson. Johnson’s brother Kyle, 19, and an FSCJ student, was an active
volunteer while in high school who was honored with a scholarship for his

sure that my mother’s volunteer and career activities helped instill in me the
interest in helping others, and also the love of learning and teaching
children. My passion is inspiring kids to want to learn more, whatever their
challenges may be,” she said. “I know that even when I finish school and begin
my career, I will still find time to volunteer in some capacity. I also love
animals and would like to help out at an animal shelter.”

her classes and internship, Johnson has little free time as she nears
graduation, and has had to give up most other activities for now. She is a
member of Lakewood United Methodist Church where she attends with her mother,
brother, and her father, Gene Johnson. Gene is the director of media for The
Dalton Agency. The fifth and furry member of the Johnson family is Teyton,
Kayla’s rescue mutt.

I finish my master’s degree and get settled into my career, I look forward to
taking up yoga classes, something I’ve always wanted to try. As far as looking
ahead farther into the future, some friends and I were just sitting talking
about how we would all like to own a business someday. I don’t know what it
might be yet, but that is definitely a dream in the back of my mind—something
to look forward to after I retire from teaching,” she said.

Venetia students reach new heights with climb, roundup

Venetia students reach new heights with climb, roundup

at Venetia Elementary School completed a Youth Leadership Values Training
Program last month. Sponsored by the Army National Guard, the program taught
children about loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and
personal courage through games like Army Dodge Ball, Capture the Flag and Spell
Bomb. Sergeant Jamaal Burris led the group activities. At the end, students
were challenged to set goals, overcome fears and climb a 15-foot rock wall.

first-graders at the school celebrated Western-style with a “First Grade
Round Up” performance at the January PTA meeting. The students shared
jokes and sang songs to the delighted crowd.

Lincoln visit inspires winning essays

The National
Society of the Colonial Dames of America treated fifth-graders from 17 local
public and private schools to a presidential encounter last month. As they have
for the past several years, the group organized a two-day appearance by a
historical character — and this time, it was President Abraham Lincoln (aka
historical actor Dennis Boggs from Tennessee).

essay contest was also part of the American history experience. This year’s
neighborhood school winners included: a tie between Bolles School fifth-graders
Jacqueline Enas and Madison Clubb; Carter Stankard from Riverside Presbyterian
Day School; a tie between John Stockton Elementary School fifth-graders, Dana
DeShone and Jade Croft; and Alexa Senan from Pine Forest Elementary School.

said the children learned many interesting facts about Lincoln, and the
importance of staying in school and reading.

Bishop Kenny students sign for scholarships

Bishop Kenny students sign for scholarships

Four members of
the Bishop Kenny High School senior class signed letters of intent to play
football on National Signing Day on Feb. 1. Congratulations to the
following scholarship winners: Steven Cornellier, Air Force Academy;
Desmond Huff, Gardner Webb University; Will Lewis, University of Delaware; and
Bobby Wolford, Boston College.

Episcopal athletes sign with universities and colleges

Episcopal athletes sign with universities and colleges

A group of Episcopal School
of Jacksonville athletes is preparing for the next chapter of their sports
careers — college. The local school announced several students have signed with
colleges and universities around the country including: Jacob Addington, crew,
Boston Univesity; Conor Clark, lacrosse, Swarthmore College; San Marco resident
Celeste Glober, soccer, Wellesley College; San Marco resident Sebastian
Hardington, soccer, Emory Univeristy; Nathan Koslowski, baseball, Jacksonville
University; Kyle Nasta, soccer, University of North Florida; Avondale resident
Mary Ann McNulty, crew, Princeton University; San Marco resident Drew Miller,
crew, Boston University; and Erich Schneider, football, Duke University.

GO GIVERS: Jane Rogers

GO GIVERS: Jane Rogers

Jane Rogers, 50, retired from her military
career in human resources in 2007 and wasn’t at all sure about the next step in
her life – until she went onto the internet to research volunteer opportunities
in Jacksonville. HandsOn Jacksonville popped up and Rogers recalls her delight
at the one-stop smorgasbord of volunteer positions that appeared alphabetically
by agency.

“There were so many agencies in need of
volunteers I couldn’t believe it. I made full use of that website, going
carefully over all the entries whenever I had free time. You can find out what
the nonprofit does, who they serve and what volunteer jobs are available. It
also explains what each job involves and any other requirements, so before you
even contact them you have a pretty good idea if you’d like to try that
volunteer position. I learned a lot about what charities, service organizations
and nonprofits we have in Jacksonville,” she said.

knowing that she wanted to be productive and maintain a regular volunteer
schedule, so Rogers explored the opportunities until she clicked on DLC
(Developmental Learning Center) Nurse & Learn, Inc. DLC is a special
education school and daycare dedicated to caring for and teaching special needs
children, ages birth to 22, in a loving, Christian atmosphere. A ministry of
the Northeast Florida district of The United Methodist Church, the center is
located inside of Murray Hill United Methodist Church.

I remember of finding DLC was how I felt when I saw the beautiful photographs
of the precious children they help. I just melted. I contacted DLC, set up an
interview and took the tour,” she said. “After I passed the required background
check, I began helping with the infants and toddlers, basically just holding,
feeding and loving them. I always try to be there at the busiest times,
especially meals. The children come in all shapes and sizes with various

days each week, 40 hours a month, Rogers can be found with the kids at DLC. She
said that she loves each one and takes pride in helping them and cheering on
their progress. As they grow, develop and are able to leave for school and the
next steps in their education, Rogers feels torn.

know I’m making a difference in their lives. After I care for them for a couple
of months, when I walk in they will call ‘Miss Jane’, ‘Miss Jane’ and drop
whatever they’re doing and run to me to see who gets picked up first. I get
goose bumps just thinking about how they recognize and reach for me. If I take
a week or two off I can’t wait to get back to see them,” she said. “I’m so
proud of their achievements from small to large. It’s impossible not to become
attached. That bond is what keeps me going back. It is very hard to see them
leave the center, so I just give them all the love and attention I can while I
have them. It’s the most rewarding thing I do.”

and her husband David, a retired military meteorologist now working on
government contracts for aviation clients, moved to Jacksonville for career
reasons. The couple has lived, worked and traveled extensively in the U.S. and
overseas and enjoys planning major trips every year. Besides long walks and
good books, they have found that volunteer work can be as rewarding as a paid
position and the combination has enriched their personal lives, travel and
hobbies even more.

is an avid motorcyclist who began riding when he was just 14-years-old —probably
why Jane has a world of patience for his five motorcycles and 14 dirt bikes. He
is an active member of the BMW Motorcycle Club of Northeast Florida, repairs
his own bikes and enjoys local and regional road trips, or cross-country trips
to destinations like Mexico.

just try not to think about how risky it actually is. He always is dressed in
the full safety gear and helmet and is such a careful and experienced
motorcyclist. Of course traveling on a motorcycle makes the rider simply more
vulnerable in any accident, but he absolutely loves it,” she said.

plans to continue her volunteer work as long as she can and urges others to
take the time to find the perfect agency to help.

don’t think most nonprofits have enough help, and it adds so much to life. I
really enjoy working with the children and believe I am contributing. Anyone
can make a difference to someone in need, no matter what your age, background
or skills may be,” she said. “I realize that not everyone can handle working
with special needs children, but there are so many different ways to help in
the community.”