Memorial fund established to honor ‘irreplaceable’ educator

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08/01/2015 12:00 PM |

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The Peconic Community School has established a memorial fund to honor its kindergarten teacher, who died earlier this month while traveling with her husband in Oregon.

Alison Aldredge, who was also the school’s early childhood director, died July 5, three days before her 52nd birthday.

Ms. Aldredge suffered an embolism related to Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, from which she had suffered all her life, according to The East Hampton Star.

The Southampton resident had over two decades’ experience and had taught at Ross School in East Hampton before coming to Peconic Community School in 2013.

At that time, the independent private school had moved from a small space at the East End Arts property in downtown Riverhead to the former elementary school at Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Aquebogue. The move was needed to accommodate growing enrollment at the school, which opened in 2012.

Liz Casey Searl, co-founder of the Peconic Community School, said Ms. Aldredge created curriculum and helped the school reach “the next level.”

“Her reputation preceded her — everyone who had known her knew what a phenomenal human being she was,” Ms. Searl said. “Anyone lucky enough to have had her as a colleague, teacher or friend is so fortunate and blessed.”

Ms. Searl said she first met Ms. Aldredge during a meeting about progressive education and was impressed by her opinion on the importance of playtime with kindergartners.

In addition to education, Ms. Searl said she and others learned about parenting from Ms. Aldredge.

“Love your children fiercely, but let them fly” was Ms. Aldredge’s advice, she recalled. “We can’t say enough about how important she was. We’re committed to continuing her legacy. I know everyone’s life she touched will always carry something from her.”

Ms. Searl said no decisions have been made yet regarding plans for the upcoming school year.

“She’s irreplaceable, but we have to because she believed so strongly in the school,” she added. “She’s one of those teachers that you never forget.”

Ms. Aldredge is survived by her husband, Matthew, and their children Margaret, Alex and Hayden.

The school will hold its annual event, Share: The Spirit of Community, on Sunday, Aug. 16, and all proceeds will benefit the Alison Aldredge Fund for Joyful Learning. The school established the memorial fund after the Aldredge family requested that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Peconic Community School.

The event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. at Hallockville Museum Farm, at 6038 Sound Ave. in Jamesport, and will feature the Rolling in Dough pizza truck, live music by Points East, local beer and wine, lawn games and more.

For more information, contact the school at 631-779-2934.

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