A Letter to the Community

Dear PCMS families/students,

It is with terrible sadness that we inform you about a loss to our school community.  Matthew McManus, one of our 8th grade students, died by suicide last night. I know we will all be heartsick by this tragic news.  We send our deepest condolences to his family and friends.  

We have been working today with our counselors to create a plan to support our students and staff.  

  • PCMS staff were invited to school today to meet as a community.  

  • Tomorrow, Sunday, June 19, the building will be open from 12-3pm.  Counselors and teachers will be available to meet with students and families.  

  • On Tuesday and Wednesday, we will follow a typical school day schedule but counselors will be available for any student who may need or want help surrounding this loss; counseling support rooms will be set up throughout the building. 


A range of emotions after such a loss is common. It’s really important if you or your child are not feeling well in any way to reach out for help. Suicide should not be an option. Here are some resources you may find helpful: 

  • Crisis Text Line: Text “HELLO” to 741741: The Crisis Text Line is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This confidential service helps anyone, in any type of crisis, connecting them with a crisis counselor who can provide support and information.

If you would like assistance or additional resources, please do not hesitate to contact the school (781-293-8627).  Bryanna Kerr, school psychologist (bryanna.kerr@pembrokek12.org); Erin Goitia, G8 counselor (erin.goitia@pembrokek12.org), Danielle McLean (G7 counselor) danielle.mclean@pembrokek12.org; Ellen Jones, MSW (ellen.jones@pembrokek12.org), Kerrie Hamill-O’Neil, MSW (kerrie.hamilloneil@pembrokek12.org; Julie  Cotillo, school psychology intern (julie.cotillo@pembrokek12.org) .

For those of you who do not know what a great kid Matthew was, his parents wanted the community to know Matthew loved retro arcade games, he loved 80s rock and roll (all kinds of music really).  He loved different foods, especially soup.  He loved white tee shirts.  He loved holidays.  He loved his family. 

The family requests that people respect their privacy at this time. 

We are saddened by the loss to our school community and will make every effort to support you and your child.  


Donna McGarrigle

PCMS Principal