We have some heartbreaking news to share with you this morning.
Lisa Livernois, the principal of Meadow Park Elementary School since 2007, and one of the nicest people we’ve ever met, died early Sunday morning at her home in Anaheim following a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 46.
Memorial services are pending, and we’ll pass along that information as soon as it becomes available. [Update: Service arrangements have been posted here.] Meanwhile, additional counseling resources have been dispatched to Meadow Park, where students and staff are grieving the loss of a remarkable educator, leader, colleague and friend.
“Beyond being an exceptional educator who cared deeply about her students and colleagues, Lisa was that rare individual who felt like a lifelong friend moments after you met her,” IUSD Superintendent Terry Walker said. “Her laugh and smile were infectious, and there are no words to describe losing her at such a young age.”
We first met Livernois in the fall of 2007, when she joined IUSD as Meadow Park’s new principal. In an interview for another district publication, she told us there was something unique about her new workplace.
“When you walk in the school doors, you immediately feel the sense of community,” said Livernois. “People are happy here. They’re comfortable.”
“It’s a place where people are focused on making sure that children are supported, respected and listened to,” she added.
Livernois would become an integral part of that community while helping to build on Meadow Park’s reputation over the next six years. In 2010, M.P. was named a California Distinguished School, and a year later it was named the best elementary school in the county by the Orange County Register.
Livernois was an assistant principal at Patton Elementary School in the Garden Grove Unified School District before her move to Irvine. Before that, she was a teacher in grades three, four, five and six; a district program facilitator; and a supervisor in her former district’s School Readiness and Community-based Outreach Program.
In June 2012, Livernois learned she had been diagnosed with a form of melanoma and would require immediate treatment. Robin Beacham, a retired IUSD principal, has since assisted with leadership duties.
District leaders said additional counseling support would be provided this week for the students and staff at Meadow Park. We agree with the superintendent that words are insufficient to characterize her passing. At this difficult time, our thoughts and prayers are with Lisa’s family and many loved ones.