Illness claims Lakes Region school chief
BRISTOL - Newfound Regional School District Superintendent Dr. Marie Ross, who officially stepped down from her post because of illness last month, died Saturday night at the age of 58 from a cancerous brain tumor.
Ross, who had what was described as a stroke and a "brain bleed" on Sept. 29, had been thought by her family to be recovering, according to her daughter, Marina MacDonald.
"We thought she would recover 100 percent from her stroke ... We later found out that she had a glioblastoma on Nov 15," MacDonald said. "We spent her last weeks celebrating her life, spoiling her in any way we could, and making her wishes come true."
"She believed it most important to be a kind, giving heart than anything else in this world. Her kindness, generosity and constant concern for others were ever present up until the very end."
Ross lived in New Hampton with her husband, Sherman Ross, and had three adult daughters, all of whom were working Sunday to organize a remembrance ceremony at an as-yet-undetermined date, Sherman Ross said. Ross also has one son, Josh.
"They're working hard at it right now," he said Sunday afternoon.
School officials also thought she was recovering, School Board Chairman Vincent Paul Migliore said. "We were shocked and saddened to hear her condition was terminal last week," he said.
Ross suffered a stroke while visiting her youngest daughter in Maryland. She was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital's Neurocritical Care Unit and was "closely monitored for additional swelling as a result of a fairly large bleed in her brain," her daughter said on a website dedicated to her mother's recovery titled "We Love Marie Ross."
She had been superintendent at Newfound since 2005. She began her career as a teacher at Grace Christian School in Merrimack in 1985 after spending years raising her four children at home. She then taught at Reeds Ferry Elementary school, served in the Nashua School District as curriculum coordinator, and was an assistant superintendent for the Laconia School District. She also taught at Notre Dame College in Manchester.
The district has hired an interim superintendent, Dr. Phil McCormack, and is searching for a new superintendent.
"It is a sad, sad day for us all in the Newfound District, but mostly for those who were closest to Marie, as she was a beloved figure who brought an unmatched level of positive energy and enthusiasm to her role and was a very important member of our community.
She will be both fondly remembered and sorely missed, Migliore said.