The murder of second-grade teacher Shaun Wild is the second tragedy to strike Naperville's Spring Brook Elementary School this year.
So members of the Spring Brook "family" are especially leaning on each other for support, Principal Dave Worst said Monday.
Funeral servicesFuneral services for Shaun Wild will be Thursday and Friday in Wisconsin, with the possibility of a memorial service at some point in Naperville. Visitation will begin at 5 p.m. Thursday at Brown Deer High School, 8060 N. 60th St., Brown Deer, Wis. A memorial service will begin at 7 p.m. A funeral service for family members and close friends will be at 12:30 p.m. Friday at Our Lady of Good Hope Catholic Church, 7152 N. 41st St., Milwaukee.
"We lost an entire great family in January, and now we've lost a beloved teacher and friend in Shaun Wild," he said. "This year has certainly come with challenges, that's for sure. We're working through it all together."
Iqbal Habib, 45, his wife Zeenat, 39, their daughter Fareeza, 10, and son Ashaz, 6, were killed in a car accident in early January while vacationing in India. Fareeza was a fifth-grader, and Ashaz was in first grade at Spring Brook.
Worst said several of the school's teachers gathered Sunday afternoon to have a private grieving session where they all shared stories and a tear or two. They also prepared a script that all teachers would stick to when explaining why Wild wasn't in class.
"It is incredibly difficult to have this conversation with anyone, especially a second-grader," Worst said. "We're talking about a teacher who had so much energy and went above and beyond every day. His spirit was amazing, so this is not going to get easier for a while."
Parents were invited to join their children in the first few moments of class Monday. Afterward they joined Worst for about 90 minutes in another room where they talked about Wild and also shared tips about how to discuss the situation with the children at home.
"Really, we're going to support these children for as long as they need it, but today is all about just getting through the day," he said. "Both staff and students did better than I expected today. We're a strong community and we rally around each other."
The school and district have not yet planned a memorial in Wild's honor, but Worst said he expects they will when the time is right.
"Obviously we'll do something for him," Worst said. "Our teachers and parents will get together to do something appropriate. But again, today was about getting through the day."