SAD 61 director, college professor unexpectedly passes away at work

Thomas Hancock

Thomas Hancock, a special “voice” in Casco and a member of the SAD 61 School Board, unexpectedly passed away last week while at work at St. Joseph’s College in Standish.

SJC president Dr. James Dlugos sent out a post late Thursday regarding the sudden loss of the esteemed faculty member.

“Dear Family Members, it is with great sadness that I share the news of Dr. Thomas Hancock’s sudden passing this afternoon.

“Tom was on campus in Alfond Hall when he was taken ill. And while first-aid was quickly administered, first by members of the community on the scene and then by the local EMTs, Tom never recovered.

“Kimberly Post and Dale Brooker were with Tom throughout this time, offering comfort and support.

“Tom’s larger-than-life personality, the perpetual twinkle in his eye, and his booming laugh will stay with all those colleagues, students, and friends who knew and loved Tom. And while we will all grieve together, our hearts especially go out to Tom’s family. I know you will keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

“Even though the college community is dispersed for the summer, please know that we are here to support each other. Do not hesitate to reach out to us,” he said. “After the college community gathers in the fall for the next academic year, we will have an opportunity to come together to remember and to celebrate the life of our friend, colleague, mentor and teacher — Dr. Thomas Hancock.”

Dr. Dlugos noted that Dr. Hancock was a faculty member in the Education Department, teaching both campus and online students.

“Thomas Hancock’s work focused upon high school-aged students on issues of self-esteem, stereotyping, empathy, and peace studies. His other research interests included ascertaining the learning styles of high-school dropouts and pairing that with learning models to best meet the styles of those students,” he wrote.

Previously, Professor Hancock was the head teacher and supervisor for The Learning Center, a dropout recovery high school for SAD 61.

Thomas Hancock’s obituary and service information appear in this week’s edition.

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