Roberta L. "Berdee" Lanie, a counselor at Greencastle Middle School, died after a struggle with ovarian cancer.
"Berdee had a lot of friends inside and outside of school," Supt. Robert Green said Monday afternoon. "She will be sorely missed."
Faculty members were notified of her death prior to the start of school Monday, and students were later given the news by their teachers. Letters were also sent home with students to notify parents of the tragedy.
Mrs. Lanie had been on medical leave since shortly after the start of the current school year.
GMS Principal Shawn Gobert said her death came as a shock to many at the school.
"People have done remarkably well," Gobert said in assessing the school atmosphere, "and the students have been respectful that the teachers have suffered a tremendous loss."
Lanie began her Greencastle career in education as an elementary teacher in 1976. She was an elementary counselor from 1986-93, and then served as guidance counselor at the middle school.
Supt. Green estimated that Lanie had touched the educational lives of 6,000 Greencastle students.
"She was a wonderful counselor, completely dedicated to the children she served," Supt. Green said. "This has been a devastating loss to the school system, as well as to her family and the community."
An obituary for Lanie, with memorial and funeral arrangements, appears on Page 2A.