A Letter from the Superintendent

Dear Pembroke Community,
It is with profound sadness that I write this letter to let you know that two of our Pembroke High School alumni tragically passed away over the weekend. The school community sends our condolences and thoughts to the family and friends of these two young men. While we're acutely aware that no words could ever do this type of unimaginable loss justice, our deepest sympathies go out to their families.

Death can be difficult for us to understand, especially when it is sudden. We may feel a variety of emotions: shock, sadness, or confusion. What is most important is that we care for and support each other. During this time as the school community processes the tragic news and copes with grief, the school district is available to offer support services to all of our students and staff.

The loss of two members of our tight-knit community is a difficult and challenging situation that can generate a high level of anxiety and distress for some students. If you feel that your children are having difficulty, we encourage you to discuss their thoughts and feelings to help them work through their grief or concerns. If you feel that your children need to speak to a counselor or other caring adult, please do not hesitate to call our schools for guidance on how to handle and talk about any grief or concerns that your children may be experiencing. This is a difficult time for everyone, but I know our students and staff will lean on each other as they fondly remember these two young men. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me, your building principal, or your child’s school counselor.

In addition to the support services offered by our schools, the community would like to show their support for the families and celebrate the lives of these two young men by lighting the Town Green in their memory. Luminary bags, decorated by members of the community, will be placed on the Town Green from Thursday night until Sunday morning.  All materials (bags and LED candles) will be provided to anyone wishing to participate.

The undecorated bags can be picked up at Pembroke High School today, Tuesday, April 20 from 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Understanding that there may be a large number of cars attempting to pick up, we are asking people to enter PHS at the entrance at the last entrance to the parking lot and continue through the front driveway (aka bus route). We are also asking that families with last names starting between A – L to attempt to pick up between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. and last names between M – Z look to pick up between 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. This is a ‘drive by’ event with volunteers handing the bags to people as they pass in front of PHS.

The decorated bags can be returned on Thursday, April 22nd. They can be dropped off between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. at the Town Green. People can also drop off cards and ‘remembrance pages’ that can be included in a scrapbook for the families at the same time. When dropping off please use the Library entrance and drive in front of the Community Center, exiting by the Hatch Building. Volunteers will be at the Town Green collecting the bags, adding LED electronic candles, and placing the luminaries.

PACTV will be airing a special on Billy and Joey on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. on channel 14. This will also be streamed on the TitanTV channel on YouTube. The program will include interviews by some of the people close to Billy and Joey and pictures from the Town Green.

Our sincerest condolences go out to the Birolini and Hickey families and all those who knew and loved Joey and Billy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Erin Obey