January 10, 2019 Letter from Dr. Meisinger to CHS Families
January 10, 2019
Dear Conestoga Families,
I write to you today as we grieve the loss of another Conestoga junior, Oliver Feldman. As many already know, Oliver was diagnosed nine months ago with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Since his diagnosis, he fought courageously until he passed away peacefully in his home on Monday night.
Those who knew Oliver, know that he was funny and full of joy. Art and German were his favorite classes, and he enjoyed playing in the marching band. In recent weeks, he proudly received Eagle Scout honors after many years as a Boy Scout. Oliver loved his time at Conestoga and was grateful for the support of his friends, particularly during his illness. At his family’s wishes, we extend an invitation to a Celebration of Oliver’s Life at 2pm on Saturday, January 12th at St. Luke Lutheran Church, 203 N. Valley Forge Road, Devon. Students are asked to bring their favorite stories about Oliver for the family to add to a memory book.
Oliver’s loss comes on the heels of Aidan Heron’s sudden passing last week. Aidan was also a junior and an impactful presence at Conestoga. He truly enjoyed life to the fullest. His large group of friends and his teachers remember how he always made them laugh and could light up any room. He loved being with his friends and cherished time with his family.
Having lost two juniors this past week, we know that this is an emotional time for our school. As a community, we must support each other through these difficult times. Our counselors and mental health specialists continue to be available all day in our Student Services Office. In addition, students have been invited to visit the cafeteria during free periods to write a note or share a sentiment to honor Oliver and Aidan.
Parents are again invited to the conversation with Peter’s Place this evening at 7pm at Conestoga in Room 268 to discuss supporting grieving children and families. Peter’s Place counselors will share information on how to help children cope with losing a friend.
It is during the most difficult times that strong communities come together to support each other, particularly those who are hurting. Over the past week, the outpouring of care and compassion we have seen from our students, staff and community has been truly remarkable, for which I am most grateful. I know we will continue to support each other through the coming weeks as we grieve our losses, remember Aidan and Oliver, and celebrate the time we shared with both.
Amy A. Meisinger, Ph.D.