In Loving Memory

Mercedes Chavez Caal

Mercedes was in her 7th year of teaching 1st grade at Safe Passage. She was deeply passionate about education, literacy, the Expeditionary Learning model, and our community. She was trusted and respected by students, peers and our staff. In addition to being a leader within the Elementary School, Mercedes also worked closely with our Preschool Team, because it was important to her to know the specific needs of the students moving into her care. She was a committed teacher and particularly supportive of students who were struggling in their learning process. Students and families across every grade level knew and loved Mercedes. Please join us in sending our love and support to all of Mercedes’ family, friends and those impacted by her care and kindness.

Joan Certa-Moore

Joan lived in Raleigh, NC and was a long-time friend and supporter to our learning community. In addition to being a beloved wife, mother, sister and friend, Joan was also an exceptionally gifted and remarkably talented woman. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Meredith College and a Master of School Administration Degree from North Carolina State University. She was a fellow with the National Paideia Center and a graduate of Harvard University’s institute, “The Project Zero Classroom Views on Understanding.” She dedicated her career in Wake County Public Schools to service for others as a teacher, administrator, volunteer, and mentor. Her guidance benefitted the lives of thousands of students and colleagues in Wake County, across the state of North Carolina, but also within the Safe Passage community.

Joan visited campus in 2016 and collaborated with our academic team to support the implementation of the “Morning Meeting” methodology in the school.  She shared her passion for education by modeling and inspiring our teachers on how to set the climate for the learning process, by connecting with students through different strategies in the first moments of the school day. Her personal service and guidance enriched the lives of students and teachers and was an outstanding contribution to our learning community.  She will be deeply missed, but her teachings will continue to inspire and guide us at Safe Passage.