Darnell Wynn: 1957-2019
A long-serving teacher and a lifelong reading advocate died at the weekend.
Darnell Wynn, née Todd, was 62 years old. Ms Wynn spent more than two decades teaching English and literature at the high school and middle school levels.
She also served at the Education Officer for Reading at the Ministry of Education, the president of the Bermuda Reading Association and as a columnist for The Royal Gazette.
Llewellyn Simmons, the director of academics at the Ministry of Education, said Ms Wynn had an “indomitable spirit”.
He added: “She was a fighter. She was never fearful of speaking her mind — not just giving her opinion, but citing evidence to support her claim.”
Mr Simmons said that Ms Wynn had always known she would be a teacher.
He added that Ms Wynn had a “commitment and dedication to always leaning”.
Mr Simmons said: “Her commitment to excellence was transferred to the many students she taught.”
Ms Wynn told The Royal Gazette in an interview in 2008 that it was critical that parents foster a passion for reading in children.
She said: “Books, magazines and newspapers must be as normal as the television sets in the home.
“Children need to see the significant adults in the homes reading and writing as a natural part of life — just as eating and sleeping. Literacy is not a school-only related event.”
Ms Wynn was also a passionate runner who refused to let ovarian cancer prevent her for participating in the sport she loved.
In 2012, she took part in the Bacardi 8K road race just two weeks after she completed a round of chemotherapy to tackle the disease.
Ms Wynn said at the time: “I had major surgery and chemo for four months. I kept my sanity by walking and doing some running.
“When I was told I had cancer it was a huge shock. Running gave me the right mindset to deal with it.”
She credited running and walking for helping her during some of the “really dark moments” that came with chemo and her fight against cancer.
Ms Wynn completed the Partner Re 5K two years later with a group of supporters to raise awareness for ovarian cancer.
She said in 2014: “If I can raise awareness and get one woman with symptoms to go to the doctor, it will be worth it.”
Ms Wynn said that she had run whenever she could before and after treatment.
She added: “We all try to hold onto something that makes you feel in control and you are normal.
“The doctors were saying that I needed to cut back, but I wanted to hold onto something.”
Ms Wynn and fellow runner Donna Mae Arorash organised the Break The Silence 5K run in support ovarian cancer awareness in 2015.
Ms Wynn, who at the time was undergoing her second treatment for ovarian cancer, was one of more than 100 walkers who took part in the event.
Scott Neil, a runner and The Royal Gazette’s race reporter, said that Ms Wynn “was always smiling and spreading happiness”.
He added: “She was widely known and highly respected among the island’s running community and was a regular at road race events. She will be greatly missed.”
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