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Dave Tremaine died of cancer Monday, two weeks after stepping down as principal of Hayfield Secondary School in Lorton.

Tremaine, 49, had served as principal at Hayfield since 2010. He worked in the Fairfax County school system for more than two decades, since starting as a fourth grade teacher at Dranesville Elementary in 1991.

Though Tremaine was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2011, he remained in his post at Hayfield while battling the disease. Treatments caused him to be absent for much of this school year until he officially retired at the end of May.

Tremaine leaves behind a wife, Robyn, and three children. Robyn chronicled the family’s journey through Tremaine’s cancer treatments through a blog, http://embracingtherollercoaster.wordpress.com.

The principal also leaves behind a grieving school community. Hundreds of Hayfield students gathered to remember Tremaine at a candlelight vigil at the school Monday night.

The school’s graduation, scheduled for Tuesday at 4:30 p.m., will proceed as scheduled, though Tremaine’s absence will be felt, said associate principal Tracey Phillips. Phillips, who stepped in as interim principal after Tremaine’s retirement, sent this letter to the Hayfield community Monday:



Dear Hayfield Families,

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you the news that Dave Tremaine passed away peacefully today with his family at his side.

Please know that Dave was extremely proud of Hayfield Secondary School, the faculty and staff and especially Hayfield students. All of us who knew Dave are thankful for his guiding spirit. He was dedicated to his family and friends and he was a dedicated educator. The fact that Dave worked nearly until his death demonstrates how devoted he was to the Hayfield community.

Graduation ceremonies will proceed as scheduled tomorrow and, although this is a very somber time, the Tremaine family is asking that while keeping Dave in your thoughts you do take the opportunity to celebrate your achievements and enjoy your graduation day.

We will have an FCPS Crisis Team in place at Hayfield for the next several days assisting the school-based crisis team to provide support for staff and students. Please feel free to contact your child’s counselor and/or administrator if there are any needs that arise with you or your children regarding this news.

Our thoughts are with the Tremaine family during this difficult time. I will share with you the details of the celebration of life for Dave when they become available.

Tracey Phillips

Hayfield Secondary Associate Principal