Light fog

Shock, grief and the desire to help

Her story illustrates the way in which many in this small, close-knit city have reacted to the news: Nearly everyone feels impacted by the tragedy, and nearly everyone wants to help.

Kim Conover, 43, and Kevin Conover, 41, both graduated from Petaluma High School and made their lives in Petaluma, making diverse friends and acquaintances along the way. Kevin Conover was a former PG&E employee who had left on disability; Kim Conover taught second grade at Meadow School for more than 12 years.

Teachers and students have spent much of this week coming to terms with the loss of someone that Meadow School's Principal Melissa Becker described as "an all-star teacher, an example of everything a teacher should be."

Double shooting in Petaluma


"We all were in complete shock," said Robert Cmelak, superintendent for the Waugh School District, which includes Meadow School. "It's so tragic."

After learning about Kim Conover's death on Sunday from Police Lt. Dave Sears, Cmelak and Becker personally called the parents of each of the 24 students in Conover's class, as well as all the employees in the school district.

"We wanted to address it in a loving and caring way," Cmelak said.

On Monday, Becker and a grievance team met with the children in Conover's class.

A police chaplain, police dogs to pet, school board members, school counselors, members from hospice, and parents all showed up: "It was the biggest outpouring of love and support in a really tragic circumstance that I could imagine," Becker said.

Children expressed their sadness by drawing pictures for Kim Conover and, with the addition of flowers, they formed a colorful shrine outside Becker's office.

First-grade teachers are taking turns teaching Conover's class, so that the students can learn from someone they're familiar with, Becker said. Second-grade teachers have chipped in too, providing curriculum and lesson plans.

© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View