Fraser Valley Elementary School Principal Reba Ferguson remembered fondly |

Fraser Valley Elementary School Principal Reba Ferguson remembered fondly

To the Editor:

Remembering Reba Ferguson: Like so many others, I was shocked and am filled with sadness over your passing. I immediately remembered times with you with great fondness and admiration. You joined the Fraser Valley Elementary team at a time of transition. This of course meant you became an instant target for critics. Instead of focusing on how you were perceived by the critics, you always strived to do the right thing. I never doubted this. You truly cared about all those at the school from the students, parents, teachers and the community itself. You did not instill a sense of fear in children; instead, you taught them about respect.

Two of my children attended Fraser Elementary while you were there. When I told them about your death, my youngest one remembered you as the woman with the pretty hair always out front greeting everyone in the morning. My other son, who knew you well, said this was the weirdest news he ever heard. I think this was a 12-year-old’s way of expressing emotion, similar to mine.

He too went on to recall the times he spent with you. And yes, he did his time visiting you in your office to address his overzealous behavior. My son was a challenge to most he encountered. You focused on him as a whole person. You went way beyond what most people would to understand him as a person, and truly make a positive difference in his life.

You were always respectful and caring of him and us as his parents. I always felt like we were working together to do the right thing. You listened and cared. And then you went way beyond that. My son, who has a habit of saying what is on his mind at any given time, ended up visiting your office to address this behavior. Instead of threatening him or using another futile tactic to address the situation you took the time to find out what was going on. You placed a recorder in your office so whenever he had too get something off his chest he had a safe place to come to whenever he needed it. My son grew to love spending time with you. In an effort to make this a positive thing, you set up a system where if he had a number of good days you took him out for lunch. He absolutely adored you and this meant a lot to him. He always kept track of his good days and looked forward to spending time with you. Yes, you made so many positive changes in his life. In this world where so many people are just putting their time in, I can’t tell you how fortunate we feel to have had you in our lives. You were a person who truly made a difference in this world. Your spirit will live on in the lives of many. I will always remember you with admiration, love, and great respect.

As my heart is filled with great sadness I keep reminding myself of why I will miss you. I look back with complete gratitude for our time and incredible experiences with you.

You were a beautiful woman inside and out. Our world has lost a great woman but gained a special angel rooting for the best for all of us. Thank you for being you.

Peg O’Neill

Waterbury, Vt.

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