JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A year ago today, a shooting shattered the campus of the Episcopal School of Jacksonville. The beloved Head of School, Dale Regan, was gunned down by a teacher who had been fired earlier in the day. That teacher, 28-yr-old Shane Schumerth, then turned the gun on himself.
A year later, Regan was remembered with a permanent plaza on the school's campus. At the dedication ceremony, her son John Regan said, "The great oak shares a special place in our family. It was a spot, where as a young child, my brother and I would come and play."
But no one spoke of her untimely death Wednesday. They spoke about a kind woman who left a lasting legacy.
Family friend Kyle Alexander said, "She was always very nice, and very kind, and very warm to me."
Friend Ellen Gatling said, "Made me remember Dale Regan as the wonderful person that she was."
For 34 years, Episcopal was Regan's home away from home. The oak tree by the river was a special place for her. And now, her family hopes everyone who visits her plaza will find comfort there.
"When I come back to visit this tree, even though I am too old to play in its branches, I will sit in the shade and I will be happy," said John Regan.
The Dale Regan Memorial Fund was established in her honor. Money donated to that fund paid for the $300,000 plaza, and turned her former office into a new physics lab.
And in the year since her death, campus security is a lot tighter than it used to be. Director of Marketing, Meg Sacks said, "We have checkpoints that we have now. We have increased relationships with local law enforcement, who have been great."
The school has increased the number of security drills for students, added a security officer, revamped its emergency and crisis communications policies.
There's 24 hour campus surveillance. Administrators have revised the school's visitors policy. They say it's all in an effort to keep a tragedy like this from ever happening again.