The Three Village School District is leaning on its counseling staff this week as it mourns a seventh-grader who collapsed in school last week and died, officials said.
Schools Superintendent Cheryl Pedisich took to the district’s website this week to commemorate student Gabriella Beals-Reid, who died at P..J. Gelinas Junior High School last Monday afternoon. Suffolk County police said they responded to calls from the school around 2 p.m. about a student in need of medical assistance.
Beals-Reid was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital soon after, where she was pronounced dead, police said.
In a statement, Pedisich said the district immediately implemented its crisis intervention plan and grief counselors to assist students and staff throughout the Three Village schools community.
“We are extremely saddened by this heartbreaking news,” she said. “A young person’s death is always tragic and a sudden loss like this can have a profound effect on the entire school community.”
In a letter penned to parents, students and staff throughout the Gelinas community, Pedisich and Principal William Bernhard described the seventh-grader as an aspiring writer and musician who exemplified hard work and dedication.
“Gabriella was a talented and avid creative writer, whose passion for the craft was inspiring to her classmates and teachers,” the letter said. “She was also a gifted musician who played the French horn with style and talent. A well-rounded young adult, Gabriella was respected among students and staff members alike and will be greatly missed.”
Upon Beals-Reid’s family’s approval, Bernhard said the district would keep the community updated with funeral arrangements and memorial services.