Troy Crossroads Principal Susan Dowse Dies of Cancer

As the Troy community mourns the loss of a 30-year veteran educator, district superintendent advises parents on how to talk to children about bereavement.

Principal Susan Dowse of Troy Crossroads Elementary lost her battle with cancer Friday.

"She was a very optimistic person who brightened the lives of many as a long-time employee of the Troy School District," district Supt. Don White said.

Dowse, 60, was planning to retire in June.

The district called parents over the weekend with the news of Dowse's passing. Bereavement counselors, teachers and other support staff are at the school today for students, White said.

"We suggest that you listen to your child," he wrote in a letter to parents that is going home with students today.

In the letter, White advised that if students have questions, parents should "answer their questions simply, honestly and be prepared to answer the same question repeatedly."

Parents can read that letter here. It is attached in the photo section. The second page is titled "Children and Reactions to Death, Adapted from National Association of School Psychologists."

"A child's need to ask the same questions about death over and over is more of a need for reassurance that the story has not changed rather than a need for factual accuracy," it explained.

Dowse began her career at Troy as a teacher associate, White said. She advanced to teacher, then to principal.

"She is certainly deserving of being recognized as a dedicated educator who loved the students and parents that she served," White said.

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