Ritzer’s murder triggered an outpouring of shock and grief in Danvers, Andover, throughout the North Shore and beyond. A wall in the newly renovated high school’s expansive lobby is decorated with banners from area high schools, signed by students of those schools showing support for Danvers High.
During his remarks, Crane made reference to a statement from selectmen Chairman Gardner Trask, who spoke on the town’s behalf on Nov. 5.
Trask’s statement, reads, in part: “It has been said, when something tragic occurs, you have three choices: You can let it define you, you can let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you. Danvers has, and will, persevere. Danvers is resilient. Danvers is strong.”
Crane thanked the administration for their efforts, including Superintendent Lisa Dana, High School Principal/Assistant Superintendent Sue Ambrozavitch, assistant principals Mark Strout and Mark DeCiccio and other high school and district staff.
“I do want to say, ‘Thank you,’” Crane said. “There is no way to prepare to deal with something like this. You can have policies and resources, but, in the end, how well an organization deals with events such as this largely depends on its leaders in all of this, to bring people together, arrange for the supports needed and to help others. By that measure, all of you were extraordinary leaders during this awful time.”
“We would also like to say, ‘Thank you’ to the School Committee, members of my administration and the community,” Dana said briefly.
Crane asked that students not harden their hearts to the world around them.
“To our students, especially, please continue to care for yourselves, for those you love,” Crane said.
The student representative to the School Committee, Mark Cockfield, brought a message of appreciation from the students.
“Finally, DHS would like to thank everyone in the community and all surrounding schools for their support during the recent tragedy,” Cockfield said.
Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.