Donovan ‘Donny’ Dickson, 24-year-old Teacher at Peddie School, Commits Suicide

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
October 11, 2013 Updated: July 18, 2015

Donovan ‘Donny’ Dickson, a New Jersey schoolteacher, is dead after jumping off the George Washington Bridge.

Dickson, 24, was teaching at the elite Peddie School in Hightstown.

He jumped off the bridge to his death on Oct. 4, the same day that county detectives were at the school to investigate allegations of sex between a teacher and a teenage student.

Officials wouldn’t say if there was any connection between the events, reported the New Jersey Star-Ledger, or whether the subject of the allegations was Dickson.

Headmaster Peter A. Quinn sent a letter to parents on Tuesday in which he recounted two meetings he had with students on Monday. 

“At the first, I spoke to our students about the ways in which people grieve; at the second I emphasized that their safety and well-being are always our top priority,” Quinn said.

“Please know that every step we have taken in the last few days and will take in the days moving forward we are taking with the safety and well-being are always our top priority,” Quinn wrote.

“The broad outlines of those events are known; the details I cannot discuss.”

Dickson taught math and cross-country at the school. Photos on his Facebook show him in a range of settings with students, including inside classrooms and at competitions. 

He began working at the school after he graduated from Middlebury College in 2011, according to this obituary

He continued running as an adult after starting earlier in his life and had recently qualified for the Boston Marathon.

“Donny loved St. Paul’s and considered it his home. For the last three summers, he returned to Concord, first as an intern and then for two years as an assistant director of the St. Paul’s School Advanced Studies Program, where he distinguished himself as a kind and caring mentor and a respected authority figure, who also shared his humor and enthusiasm with his students.”

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.