A Richardson ISD junior and a teacher at the district's learning center campus died last week of "complications from COVID-19," the superintendent says.
Sha'Niyah McGee, a junior at Berkner High School, and Eroletta Piasczyk, a teacher at the Christa McAuliffe Learning Center, died last week, Richardson ISD Superintendent Jeannie Stone wrote in a letter to district staff and parents on Monday.
"Sha’Niyah McGee was a junior at Berkner High School and was a kind, respectful and valued member of the BHS family. Eroletta Piasczyk was a teacher at our CMLC campus and was a compassionate, gracious, and talented educator," Stone wrote. "Both Sha’Niyah and Eroletta were highly cherished members of our RISD family and they will be fondly remembered and missed by their classmates and fellow teachers."
Stone wrote that district counselors would be available for staff and students who need help processing the deaths.
The district is in contact with both families, Stone wrote, and would support them in any way they can.
To share condolences with the families, people can email firstname.lastname@example.org and counselors will share them.
Just hours after the announcement, the board held its regularly scheduled meeting, during which discussion focused largely on the district’s mask policy and COVID-19 cases.
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Early in the meeting Richardson School Board leaders acknowledge the deaths and held a moment of silence. Shortly after that, the podium opened for public comment.
Thirty-five parents and community members signed up to speak for and against the district mask policy. Some wanted the policy to remain in place, while others asked the district to make masks optional.
Richardson ISD school board members voted last month during an emergency meeting to keep the district’s mask mandate and safety protocols in place. District leaders decided to keep the mask mandate in place for now as the meeting stretched past 10 p.m. The board is expected to revisit the issue in a week.