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PLYMOUTH – Plymouth South High School celebrated the lives of two educators in solemn, but colorful style Friday.
The school held a “Purple Day” to raise awareness of pancreatic cancer in honor of staff members Nicole McKenna and Tina Werner, both of whom died of the disease.
Werner, a paraeducator who found great joy in working at the school, died in November. McKenna, a main office secretary who served in several roles in the school, died just a week ago.
Principal Patty Fry said students and staff were shaken by the losses. I Got Vaccinated But I Want All Of You To Stay Away From Me Shirt, hoodie, tank top
McKenna was especially well known for her deep roots in the Plymouth South community. All five of her children graduated from Plymouth South High School. While they were students, she was involved in their sports and clubs.
She later took a job working in the cafeteria at the school, then moved on to work as a paraeducator in the library and as the face of the school to many as the security receptionist. She transferred to year-round educational secretary position in the main office last summer.
Fry said McKenna was a positive influence on everyone in the school and a magnet for students, who felt safe and comfortable with her.
The Plymouth School Committee remembered McKenna with a moment of silence at the start of Monday night’s meeting.
Fry said student and staff planned to wear purple face masks, ribbons and clothing on Friday to remember both women as purple is the official pancreatic cancer color. Some colleagues were also expected to wear Hawaiian shirts in memory of McKenna, who was heavily involved in spirit days at the school and loved the colorful attire.
McKenna’s family has set up a gofundme campaign in her memory at https://www.Gofundme.Com/f/in-memory-of-nicole-mckenna. Donations will contribute to funeral costs and any excess will be donated to the American Cancer Society and the National MS Society.