06/16/05 — Respected Southern Wayne teacher mourned

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Respected Southern Wayne teacher mourned

By News-Argus Staff
Published in News on June 16, 2005 1:45 PM

A Southern Wayne High School teacher who died while vacationing in the Caribbean was remembered today as a superb teacher and thoughtful friend who always put others first.

Donna Peacock, 52, died Tuesday at a hospital in San Juan, Puerto Rico, from head injuries she suffered while sailing with friends.

"Ms. Peacock was well-known as an excellent teacher," said Dr. Steven Taylor, superintendent of the county school system. "This is a tremendous loss to Southern Wayne High School, particularly the students she served so well. Her expertise and love of children will be sorely missed.

"At this time, our hearts and minds are with her family," Taylor said.

"Donna Peacock was a fine, caring neighbor, a loving mother and a dedicated school teacher," said Gene Price, a friend and neighbor. "She greeted each new day and everyone she met with a bright smile, a cheerful greeting and upbeat conversation. I was particularly impressed with the outstanding job she did in raising her two daughters.

"No one in our neighborhood was more respected or more loved than Donna." Price said.

Ms. Peacock was sailing with friends when she fell Sunday and was injured on the 55-foot catamaran on which the group was traveling.

The accident seemed minor at the time, friends said, but complications soon developed and she was taken to a hospital in a nearby port. From there she was taken by helicopter to a larger medical facility in San Juan.

Funeral arrangements were still uncertain today but friends of the family said they expect services to be held this weekend. She was a member of St. Frances Episcopal Church.

Ms. Peacock began her teaching career in the Goldsboro city schools and had taught at Southern Wayne since the late 1990s. Co-workers described her as a special person, one who went beyond the call of duty to help her students no matter what it took.

"She was remarkable," fellow Southern Wayne teacher Debra Warren said. "She touched every life. She took care of her children. If someone needed something, she found a way to get it."

Mrs. Warren said Ms. Peacock found ways to help students get financial aid for college, made sure they got help with problems at home and did anything she could to make their lives better. But she shied away from taking credit for any of her achievements, she said.

"I asked myself how she found the time to do all those things," Mrs. Warren said. "But she always did. She never forgot about people. She never went a day without telling us that she loved us."

Ms. Peacock is survived by two daughters, Haley, a junior at East Carolina University, and Robin, a senior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.