WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — The Pilgrim High School community is mourning the sudden loss of Principal Gerry Habershaw.

A school official tells 12 News, Principal Habershaw passed away on Saturday morning.

Habershaw served many students, not just as a principal, but also as a coach for several years.

Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi issued the following statement to 12 News:

I knew Gerald Habershaw back when I was on the School Committee. He was devoted to his students and co-workers. He touched the lives of so many in this city. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to his loved ones. The city of Warwick is standing by to offer any support or help needed.”

Warwick Mayor Frank Picozzi

An acting principal was recently appointed at Pilgrim High School.   That came as students at Pilgrim moved to remote learning following an outbreak of COVID cases at the school linked to the Nov. 6 homecoming dance.

Many parents and students expressed support for Habershaw following the recent events. 

Tributes to Habershaw began flooding social media Saturday night, as students and community members shared memories and offered condolences. 

School Superintendent Lynn Dambruch released a statement, saying Habershaw was a beloved member of the community.

We are shocked and saddened to learn of the passing of Gerry Habershaw. He was a beloved member of the Warwick School Community and a mentor, friend and colleague of us all. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and the Pilgrim Community. Gerry always cared about his students and staff and will tuly be missed.

We’ve learned a vigil is being held at the Pilgrim High School Football Field at 6 p.m. on Sunday. People are encouraged to wear black and white.

Grief counseling will be available at Pilgrim High for students and staff on Sunday from 1:00-4:00 p.m. and all day on Monday.