Over a week has passed since the passing of Margarita Muñíz and it was almost two weeks ago that the sad news about Ken Larson came to the Parent Imperfect. Last Sunday, an overfilled crowd of at least 700 people attended a memorial held for Ken and Margarita at the Hernández. On Tuesday, there was a wake for Margarita in Jamaica Plain, on Wednesday a funeral Mass was celebrated in Mission Hill and then, on Friday, Margarita’s remains were put to rest in Belmont. Ken’s family has decided to remember him in other, more private ways.
The BPS Superintendent immediately named Ms. María Campanario interim principal at the Hernández. Ms. Campanario is an experienced teacher who worked with Margarita at the Hernández before taking charge of English Language Instruction for the entire system. Many parents know the new principal and feel confident that she will be able to help steer the school through this very difficult time. The PI desperately hopes that they are right.
Both Vince and Connie joined Liz and the PI at the memorial at the Hernández, and were very happy to be there. The news of the last two weeks has been particularly difficult for Connie, who was already feeling the loss of not being at the Hernández this year, and has now felt a strange guilt about not being at the school to help her friends through this time. Vince almost never goes back to the school he attended for eight years, so this was a very good opportunity to reconnect to people and a place who still mean a lot to him.
To the PI’s surprise, his post, “It Takes A Community…” generated more response than anything else that has appeared in the Parent Imperfect. Several people commented on the blog, but, as is always the case, many more commented in private to the PI. For some reason, the PI’s readers are not people who feel comfortable commenting in “public.” Given the number and nature of the comments, it seems appropriate to ignore the wishes of the commentators and share an (anonymous) sample here. Surprisingly, the comments came mostly from people who knew neither Margarita nor Ken. Thanks to all who took the time to read and/or comment on this.
That’s beautiful, [PI].
Thanks for passing this on, [PI]. That’s an incredible story.
…But I write not to give a review of the show but to say how much I liked your PI entry about the life at the Hernandez recently. I knew Margarita was sick and had died but knew nothing about Ken Larson- his integral role and his surprising death. wow. So much loss. I hope things hold together well for the school- a lot is at stake.
Thank you for sharing this. It’s wonderful as a newcomer to this community to hear the perspectives of those with more experience.
What a shame! Hope that the school can find another leader with passion and drive in the right direction.
Thank you [PI}. I will take a look at it. It has been a very sad time at our school. Take care.
Wow!!! What a potent reminder that life is not always fair. Hope you all are hanging in there.
Life seems like so much of a test in so many ways these days for too many people, I am so sorry to hear this news. It is incredibly fortunate that the Hernandez does have such a strong community, but I know this will make for a difficult year for the entire school and beyond. I am thinking of [Vince] and [Connie], hope they are doing okay.
I thought of you when I read Yvonne Abraham’s column yesterday in the Globe – hope you saw that, too. My condolences to your family for your loss.
We’re not (unfortunately) members of this community but I was moved by your post, nonetheless. Regardless of anything else, the unexpected (right?) death of Ken is so shocking and can only compound what would have been the imminent sadness of losing Margarita. And as always, your writing captured it all beautifully (though I should not have read it at work! pass the kleenex).
What a week. I very much appreciated reading your blog entry. I have a different lens, and there are countless others as well … and sharing perspectives does help to process the overwhelming nature of the events and long path to this point. I’ll be at the Hernandez this morning with [my daughter]. Maybe we’ll see you there.