School district mourns Kings Park H.S. principal who died suddenly
The Kings Park School District is mourning Kings Park High School Principal Dr. Karen Lessler who died suddenly this week.
Junior Rebecca Aronberg, who worked closely with Dr. Lessler on her Eagle Scout Service Project, says teachers were crying and she was also devastated by the loss.
"She helped me every step of the way," Aronberg says. "She played a really big role in getting my Eagle project off the ground and right now I feel kind of helpless without her."
Lessler worked for two decades in the Kings Park School District, spending 17 years as a middle school social studies teacher.
She then served as the high school's assistant principal for two years and as principal for one year.
In 2021, she was recognized with an Administrator Service Award.
Lessler was also on the Middle Country School District's board for multiple years, serving as president at one point.
Superintendent of Schools Timothy Eagen said in a letter to parents, "This loss is sure to raise many emotions, concerns and questions for our entire school, especially to our students."
He also wrote that, "The Kings Park family has lost a special person. Dr. Lessler was an amazing friend, colleague, mother, wife, grandmother and leader. She loved what she called, 'the work,' which was of course always focused on the needs of the students."
The district says it has crisis intervention teams on hand to help with the needs of students, parents, and school personnel.
Several of the district psychologists and additional mental health personnel were made available and will be available again throughout Wednesday at the school.
Additional resources are also being offered to parents who want to help their children at home.
Students say they want to preserve Lessler's memory for years to come.
"She did so much for everyone," Aronberg says. "Really hope we do something amazing for her."
Dr. Lessler was 65 years old.