Remembering Dez-Ann Romain, A High School Principal Who Died Of COVID-19 At 36 Dez-Ann Romain was a beloved high school principal in Brooklyn, N.Y. She died at age 36 from complications of the coronavirus.
NPR logo

Remembering Dez-Ann Romain, A High School Principal Who Died Of COVID-19 At 36

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/825499529/825499530" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Remembering Dez-Ann Romain, A High School Principal Who Died Of COVID-19 At 36

Remembering Dez-Ann Romain, A High School Principal Who Died Of COVID-19 At 36

Remembering Dez-Ann Romain, A High School Principal Who Died Of COVID-19 At 36

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/825499529/825499530" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Dez-Ann Romain was a beloved high school principal in Brooklyn, N.Y. She died at age 36 from complications of the coronavirus.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

We want to spend the next minute or so remembering one of the many people who have died as a result of the coronavirus. Dez-Ann Romain lived in New York City.

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

She was 36, a beloved principal at an alternative high school, the Brooklyn Democracy Academy. Romain loved being principal.

CHANG: She decorated the school with inspirational quotes and kept fresh flowers in her office. She took the time to learn the backstories of every single student.

KELLY: And colleagues say she considered each of those students her personal responsibility.

CHANG: Last week, dozens of teachers, students, and friends gathered over a video chat for a virtual candlelight vigil. Curtis Turney told the group he had Romain for art class before she became principal.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CURTIS TURNEY: She taught us how to become men and women. She taught us how to be leaders in our own life. She was understanding and tough at the same time, which made her so relatable. Ms. Romain, after graduating from high school, became more than just a former teacher to most of us but a great friend and, most of all, a hero to so many of us.

KELLY: Romain came to New York from Trinidad as a teen, and she was open about the struggles she faced in school. It was something a lot of kids connected with.

CHANG: In a video from last year's graduation ceremony, Romain gave a commencement speech in a room full of balloons and students wearing purple and white gowns.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

DEZ-ANN ROMAIN: Understand that you are great in your own right, and don't let anybody ever make you feel less than.

KELLY: Brooklyn principal Dez-Ann Romain - she was 36.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

Copyright © 2020 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.