06/15/05 — Southern Wayne teacher dies while on cruise ship

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Southern Wayne teacher dies while on cruise ship

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 15, 2005 1:45 PM

Funeral arrangements are pending for a Southern Wayne High School teacher who died Tuesday after suffering from a head injury while on vacation in Puerto Rico.

Donna Peacock, 52, of Dudley, an educator who taught exceptional children, died at the Medical Center of Puerto Rico in San Juan.

Richard Sauls, principal at the school, said the divorced mother of two daughters in college was boating with several couples when the accident occurred.

When contacted by The News-Argus for comment this morning, he said it was a very sad time at the school.

"She was a fantastic teacher," he said. She started at the school in 1997 and has worked primarily with autistic children.

"She was a special person that could communicate with them and understand them well. There were children placed here that were not successful in other locations."

Sauls said Ms. Peacock was also held in high regard by parents.

"The week prior to school getting out, the parent of a senior came in and told me that Mrs. Peacock was the best teacher that her son had ever had," he said. "She went on to say how well Mrs. Peacock understood the kids and worked so well with them."

Those who knew Mrs. Peacock took the news very hard, Sauls said.

"She was very well-liked by the staff at Southern Wayne," he said.

School officials said Mrs. Peacock began her career in the city schools as a teacher assistant in 1972 before completing her degree to become a teacher. She transferred to Southern Wayne from Goldsboro Middle School.