CLARENDON - She may be gone but she is certainly not forgotten-faculty, staff and students of the Clarendon Elementary School remembered the late Mill River Union Middle School Principal Joan Holden June 13. Holden was also a justice of the peace in Clarendon. She married several of her former students.
The idea of sharing Oreos to remember Holden last week seems to have originated with Clarendon teacher Neva Pratico. The idea was based on Holden's own description of how school children, parents and the community fit together.
Holden once said that an Oreo cookie-two chocolate wafers with a creamy center-is symbolic of the school community being supported inside and out. She said the community and parents were the chocolate and the students the "sweet fillings".
According to Pratico, Holden died a few years ago after battling cancer. She retired in 2008 when the illness was just too difficult to endure at school.
After eating the cookies last week, students sang and told stories about what the remembered most about the principal. A slate fountain in the Community Peace Garden at the school was also named in Holden's honor.
Holden was a native of Clarendon and started her career education at Rutland High School. She spent 20 years in Rutland County schools.