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WVCSD mourns loss of David Cabassa, security staff member

on October 18, 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The Warwick Valley Central School District is mourning the loss of David Cabassa, a beloved member of the security staff at Warwick Valley Middle School. Mr. Cabassa passed away unexpectedly Wednesday night as a result of natural causes, according to his family.

Although Mr. Cabassa only joined our District a little more than a year ago, he quickly became known to students as a reassuring and friendly presence. He could often be found engaging with staff and students in the school and saying goodbye to them with a handshake and a smile at the end of each day. He began his Warwick Valley career at our High School and was reassigned to the Middle School in December.

He was enormously popular with the students and had a gift for connecting with them. Many also knew him from District sporting events and school functions, which he often supervised. He was truly a superstar and will be greatly missed.

Mr. Cabassa was most often assigned to supervise students in grades 7 and 8. Therefore, tomorrow morning (Friday, Oct. 19) during homeroom 7th and 8th-grade teachers will briefly address the loss with their students. District counselors and members of the Orange County Crisis Support Team will be available tomorrow and in the coming days to speak with students at the Middle School, the High School, and throughout the District as needed.

Children express grief in different ways. The death of someone they know may remind them of a loss in their own lives. For others, this may be their first experience with death. Even children without direct ties to Mr. Cabassa may be upset. When reacting to loss, students may:

  • Cling closely to adults
  • Display regressive behaviors
  • Ask a lot of questions
  • Appear frightened, agitated or angry
  • Seem sad and withdrawn
  • Have trouble sleeping
  • Complain of stomach aches or headaches

As the grieving process continues, please be aware of your child’s reaction and feel free to contact us with questions or concerns. The Middle School Guidance Office can be reached at 845-987-3100, then press 5 for Guidance. The High School Guidance Office can be reached at 845-987-3050, ext. 12601. We are always here to help.  

Sincerely,

Dr. David Leach
Superintendent of Schools

Additional Resources

Orange County Mental Health Assoc., Inc.
24/7 Helpline
1-800-832-1200

Text 4 Teens
845-391-1000
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 5 p.m. – 12 a.m.

Helping Children Cope with Frightening News
https://childmind.org/article/helping-children-cope-frightening-news/
 

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