This weekend, Monica Schaffer, a longtime team member and joyful presence in our musical community, unexpectedly lost Dave, her husband and the loving father to their two young boys.
Within our school, she has made a positive impact on not just the students she has taught, but countless other students through hiring, training and mentoring their teachers. She is a loyal and caring coworker. Beyond our community, she is a fantastic mother, friend and human. We knew Dave through her: stories of camping trips, the DIY waterslide he rigged up for their kids, the sandbox he found and rehabbed one weekend, and even the time he showed up at our office, drill in hand, to help MacGuyver a photo prop for an upcoming show. Our impression of him was a man with tremendous love for his family, who demonstrated that love by making things that would bring them joy.
We are heartbroken for the Schaffer family and our thoughts are with them. Many students, teachers and members of our community have asked how they can help. We can only imagine what Monica and the entire Schaffer family are going through, and what lies in the days, weeks and months ahead.
What we hope we can do, though, is help her be equipped for some of the logistical concerns that come with becoming an unexpected single parent. If we can take away even a few worries for now, we would like to.
Monica has a natural talent for bringing people together, and has often done so at our school. Let's come together for her now.
If you are a student, coworker or community member who has been helped by Monica through the years, feel free to use this as a way to give back.
Thank you, and our thoughts are with the Schaffers.
-Meridee, Kate, Jill, Krysta and The Meridee Winters School of Music Team
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