Last Monday, we began our day with great sadness, as we’d just learned that beloved BNS Pre-K educational assistant Pauline Headlam passed away over the weekend. As the news made its way through the building, many of us were seen hugging, sharing stories, shedding tears and drifting into our memories. Pauline began at BNS as a paraprofessional in Arbo’s classroom, where she worked for two years. She spent the next sixteen years alongside eighteen four year olds and Jacqueline, their teacher.
Pauline was known for her warmth, her smile, her strength and her storytelling. As we’ve processed our loss this week, we’ve shared stories with each other: stories Pauline told parents about their children, connective stories Pauline related about her own children as well as her two year old grandson, and stories of joy and laughter within the walls of the Pre-K classroom.
Last week, teachers and educational assistants gathered in a pre-K classroom to reminisce about Pauline. Pauline was a joyous person, so the gathering was full of love and warmth.
From her leave, fourth grade teacher Nneka writes:
I remember how well Pauline and Jacqueline took care of Hailey when she was in Pre-K 11 years ago! I love how she talked about kids, even after so many years. I remember running into her in the hallway last year and her telling me about her grandson, who is about the same age as Aaron (my younger son). She beamed as she spoke about him, telling about how he loves to climb and run, and all about his physical feats. I remember her telling me the year before that he learned to walk way before he was one year old! She was such a proud grandma! Pauline truly loved children, and I remember thinking that anyone would be lucky to have her as a grandparent. She will be so dearly missed.
Parent Coordinator, Amy S writes:
In September 2001, my daughter Odessa was in Arbo and Pauline’s class when BNS was on the 5th floor of 610 Henry. Pauline was so caring with all of us during that very difficult time. We all needed so much reassurance, and there she was with her luminous smile. Pauline sewed little pillows for every child in her class with the children’s initials on them. Odessa’s twin, Cezar, would visit Pauline every day (not Odessa). Finally Pauline asked him why, and he replied, could you make me a pillow too? We still have both Pauline pillows.
We hold Pauline in our hearts and in our memories. We will miss you, Pauline.
All for now,
Pauline and friends support the UFT
Pauline and friends support Breast Cancer Research