Jackson School District Coping With Loss of Nicholson Sisters [AUDIO]
With the death of two of it's students, Jackson School District now is tasked with helping its students cope with the tragic loss.
After the Tuesday evening deaths of sisters Jaime Nicholson, 17, a senior at the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES) in the Manahawkin section of Stafford and Francesca Nicholson, 15, Jackson Memorial Principal Kevin DiEugenio was tasked with preparing the teachers and staff to help the grieving student body.
"You never quite sure what the reaction is going to be when the students walk through the door" said DiEugenio "We had a faculty meeting at six forty five [am] and updated our staff."
- Related: Jackson Sisters Die In Crash
A special additional flight staff of 20 counselors and crisis support staff were brought in starting Wednesday morning and will remain until the end of the week at least, to assist the students. During a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, DiEugenio said several group counseling sessions were held.
He notes that unfortunately it is not the first time the flight staff had to be called in the recent past.
Counselors also shadowed classes the girls were in to assist with any students who needed help. As of Wednesday evening no funeral arrangements or formal memorial services have been announced.
The sisters were members of the Jackson Memorial Marching Band and during the night of the accident were on their way to nearby Jackson Liberty High School for a marching band event. DiEugenio says both sisters were extremely well liked by their peers, excellent students, and citizens.
"One in particular was the captain of our color guard, very well regarded, and AP student. The twelfth grade student was so accomplished she was part of our MATES program, which is a gifted and talented program.
A police investigation shows the sisters were driving north on South Hope Chapel road in a 1987 Mercedes-Benz 190 when Jaime Nicholson lost control of the vehicle, crossing over the center line of the roadway and colliding with a 2001 Mazda MPV minivan driven by Thomas Migliaccio, 47, of Toms River.
DiEugenio notes that all new drivers at Jackson Memorial High School are required to take a safe driving course.