Fraser Valley Elementary principal Reba Ferguson remembered at tribute
April 2, 2008
A day after the tragic death of Fraser Valley Elementary School’s principal, a tribute to the life of Reba Ferguson was held at her school.
Students, teachers, parents, community members and school district administrators crowded into the elementary school’s gymnasium Wednesday afternoon. They had gathered to honor the memory of Ferguson, who had been Fraser Valley Elementary’s principal for the past seven years.
Ferguson died Tuesday morning as the result of a two-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 40 about two miles west of Tabernash. She lost control on the icy highway and her vehicle entered the opposite lane where in collided with another vehicle.
She was driving to the East Grand School District Office in Granby to discussion this summer’s construction plans for Fraser Valley Elementary.
With all of Ferguson’s fellow principals also present, Wednesday’s tribute assembly was led by Superintendent Robb Rankin.
“We’re like a family that’s going through a very tough time,” he said. “You just need somebody to hug, talk to and cry with.”
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Rankin comforted the students and thanked them for the memorial cards and posters they had prepared in Ferguson’s honor.
“We’re really, really sad that Mrs. Ferguson is gone,” he said. “She did a lot of wonderful things for all of us in this room.”
After reading from Ferguson’s favorite children’s book, Rankin asked the students if they would like to send a message to her. The children said they wanted to do that.
Holding aloft a large helium-filled balloon that was in the shape of a rose, Rankin wrote “We love you” and We miss you” on either side of the balloon. Then the entire assembly shuffled outdoors where the balloon was released into the sky above the Fraser Valley.
During Wednesday’s assembly, Rankin said that a memorial service for the community was tentatively being planned for Friday, April 18. Its full details will be announced soon.
Rankin also announced that Gene Boyer will be stepping in to fill the principal’s job at Fraser Valley Elementary for the remainder of this school year.
Boyer was an elementary school teacher for 20 years and an elementary school principal for 12 years with another school district. After retiring, he moved to Grand County where he has worked for the past three years as a substitute teacher at Fraser Valley Elementary.
In one final announcement, Rankin told those present that school will not be held at Fraser Valley Elementary on Thursday, April 3, to allow staff and students to “rest and recuperate” from the emotional trauma due to the loss of Ferguson. Next week is the school district’s spring break.
While no school will be held at Fraser Valley Elementary on Thursday, students can assemble in its gymnasium starting at 8 a.m. for a day of recreational activities. The Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District will be in charge and will supervise the children.