FRAMINGHAM—A gym teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary School who rushed children into a storage closet during Friday’s shooting rampage had just started working there this fall after 12 years at a Framingham elementary school, officials said here Tuesday.
Jaclyn Lloyd, 34, and her students survived the shootings in Newtown, Conn., which claimed the lives of 20 children and six of Lloyd’s co-workers in one of the worst mass shootings in US history.
Lloyd was a dedicated teacher at the Barbieri Elementary School in this Metrowest suburb before she moved to Connecticut to teach at the Sandy Hook school, said Beth Goldfarb, a board member of the Barbieri Parent Teacher Organization.
“She was fabulous,” said Goldfarb, whose three sons were taught by Lloyd. “Our school is a very big school with over 600 kids, and she seemed to know them all by first name.”
Framingham Patch, an online news site, reported Lloyd’s connection to the city on Monday.
Goldfarb said Lloyd regularly organized school fund-raisers at O’Connell’s Pub, a local business owned by Lloyd’s family, as well as youth fitness programs outside the classroom. And, she said, Lloyd always had a kind word for her sons when they frequented another family business, Lloyd’s Diner.
“It wasn’t just her teaching gym,” Goldfarb said. “People knew her from all different areas.”
As suspected gunman Adam Lanza began spraying Sandy Hook with gunfire, Lloyd and her class of terrified fourth-graders huddled into a corner of the gymnasium, multiple news outlets have reported. Lloyd was one of the teachers who later spirited children into a closet, according to reports.
“She was not harmed, which was a great comfort to her former colleagues and school staff,” said Framingham Superintendent Stacy L. Scott during a brief interview after a School Committee meeting on Tuesday night. “She’s OK.”
Scott said that Connecticut officials sent the Barbieri staff an e-mail notifying them that Lloyd managed to escape the building.
“It’s been indicated to me that she was very well-liked and cherished among the staff here,” said Scott, who recently became superintendent and does not know Lloyd. “She seemed to make a lot of connections at the teacher level.”
Susan J. McGilvray-Rivet, principal of Barbieri Elementary, said in an e-mail that her staff is “very thankful she is OK.”
She did not respond to a follow-up inquiry asking why Lloyd had taken a job at Sandy Hook, and Scott said he was unsure why she had moved.
Lloyd and her family could not be reached for comment Tuesday. A woman who answered the phone at O’Connell’s said Lloyd’s relatives had traveled to Connecticut, and she was unsure when they would return.
Goldfarb, the PTO board member, said she was not surprised when she saw reports that Lloyd acted quickly to save the children in her care.
“It fit with her M.O., completely,” Goldfarb said.
On her personal page on the Sandy Hook website, Lloyd had written that she was excited to join the school.
“My goal is to teach students lifelong wellness through physical activity,” she wrote. “In my free time a few activities I enjoy are snowboarding, bicycling, golfing, wakeboarding, and hiking. “
She also posted a list of expectations for her students: “1. Wear Your Sneakers! 2. Try Your Best! 3. Be respectful of yourself, the equipment and others.”