Updated Sept. 3
The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School community is mourning the loss of a gifted photography student just as the school year begins.
In an email to parents Sunday night, MVRHS Principal Sara Dingledy wrote about the sudden death of Davin Tackabury, 17. The school was open Monday, even though it was Labor Day, to make counselors available to students. Administration, teachers, and counselors with Martha’s Vineyard Community Services were also available to help students and staff.
“Each of us will react to Davin’s death in our own way, and we need to be respectful of each other,” Dingledy wrote. “Right now, we are feeling very sad, and many of you may feel sad too. Others may feel anger or confusion. It’s okay to feel whatever emotions you might be feeling. Some of us may have known Davin well, and some of us may not. You might find it difficult to concentrate on schoolwork for a little while. On the other hand, you might find that focusing on the return to school helps take your mind off what has happened. Either is okay.”
The West Tisbury teen was a talented photographer. His work received a national Gold Medal in the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and won multiple awards in the 2019 Boston Globe Scholastic Art and Writing awards.
On Tuesday, Dhakir Warren, the school’s assistant principal, and Amy Lilavois spoke to The Times about the first day back.
Warren said the school community has rallied for one another. “It’s amazing to see the way the community came together and really supported each other,” he said. “Even people who didn’t know Davin were supportive of their peers. Really connect as a community.”
Support for students will be available for the rest of the week at the school. The cause of Davin’s death has not been made public.
“Rumors may begin to come out, but please avoid them as they may be untrue, and can be deeply hurtful and unfair to Davin and his family and friends,” Dingledy wrote. “We are going to do our best to give you the most accurate information as available and appropriate.”
Dingledy urged parents to seek help through Martha’s Vineyard Community Services at 608-693-0032 if needed.
“Our main concern right now is that we support Davin’s family and our school community,” Dingledy wrote. “We are all here for you. We are all in this together, and the school staff will do whatever we can to help you get through this.”
Davin’s parents have scheduled a memorial service for Sunday, Sept. 8, at 1 pm, at the Martha’s Vineyard Hebrew Center.
Lucas Thors contributed to this report.