To say it’s been tough inside Cheshire High School would be a serious understatement.
“Everybody’s still grieving,” said Cheshire HS Senior, Rob Roles. “It’s tough for a high schooler to go through a loss.”
A beloved English teacher at Cheshire High School, Megumi Yamamoto, died Wednesday night. Police found her body in the woods down the street from her home after responding to a missing peron’s call. Police have not yet released her cause of death. Today, the Medical Examiner’s Office said her cause of death is “pending further studies”.
The Superintendent of Cheshire Schools held a news conference this morning.
“The outpouring of grief on our campus, by alumni and the greater community serve as a testament to the incredible influence that Ms. Yamamoto had on us,” said Jeffrey Solan. “She is already deeply missed.”
Ms. Yamamoto started teaching in Cheshire in 1997. She was Cheshire Teacher of the Year in 2012.
“She was a great person and a great teacher, too,” Rob said. “I think everybody’s had a hard time.”
“My heart goes out to them,” said Rev. Sandy Stayner, President of the Cheshire Clergy Association.
Her group is one of many around the community that is rallying to help the school community during this tragedy. Several area clergy have offered to be there for students and staff — just to listen and allow them to open up and deal with their pain.
“I know there are a lot of students dealing with an enormous amount of stress,” Rev. Stayner said. “And experiencing the death of someone they know and love that they wouldn’t have expected to die in a tragic way would cause, for many of them, the kind of stress they’re already feeling. I would like to engage with them and help them understand how to move through that — those feelings of loss and fear.”
Mental health counselors have also volunteered to help at Cheshire High. K-9 First Responders has provided therapy dogs to help students, too.
Rob says all of it helps and all of it is appreciated.
“Thank you for helping us,” Rob said.