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Local Educator Dies Due to Coronavirus Complications

A beloved principal, teacher and Rockaway neighbor has died due to complications related to coronavirus. Dez-Ann Romain died on March 23. She was 36.

As the first Department of Education employee to die due to the illness, Romain made headlines across the city. Romain served as the principal of Brooklyn Democracy Academy in Brownsville, Brooklyn, a transfer high school that helps students who have struggled in traditional high school settings graduate.

However, some remember the Rockaway resident as a graduate of Far Rockaway High School who went on to become an inspirational art teacher at Frederick Douglass Academy VI in Far Rockaway.

“She supported us through all our future endeavors, whether it [was] personal or professional,” former student Curtis Turney-Rentas, told TIME magazine. “But she didn’t just teach us art. She taught us how to become men and women. She taught us how to be leaders in our own light.”

Fellow Far Rockaway High School classmate, Mohamed Amin wrote on Facebook: “My heart is in a million pieces right now. The tears won’t stop flowing. In 2001, Dez-Ann Romain and I graduated from Far Rockaway High School with honors. As Caribbean migrants, being raised by low-income parents in the ‘ghetto,’ we were considered ‘at-risk’ young people. At only 36-years-old, she passed away due to complications from the Coronavirus. Rest in Power, Dez-Ann Romain.”

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