Mr. Regan acknowledged that, having been a social studies teacher for 17 years, he was probably the board’s most ardent supporter of the United Federation of Teachers. “I still have chalk under my fingernails,” he once said. James Francis Regan and his twin sister, Gertrude, were born in the Bronx on Jan. 24, 1930, to Peter and Mary Regan. Six weeks later, their mother died. They and their three siblings were dispersed among relatives, with Mr. Regan going to his mother’s sister, Alice Kate Lee, on Staten Island. Mr. Regan graduated from Fordham in 1952 and received a master’s degree in personnel and guidance from Richmond College (now the College of Staten Island) in 1971. After serving in the Navy during the Korean War, he became a teacher at New Dorp High School on Staten Island. There he met his future wife, Mary Schlusser. Mrs. Regan died three months ago. Besides his daughter Claire, who is associate managing editor of The Staten Island Advance, he is survived by another daughter, Cara Regan-Warford, a clinical psychologist. One of Mr. Regan’s proudest achievements involved school bus safety. After a girl was killed after stepping off a school bus in 1989, he successfully pushed for a test program in which red stop arms were installed on all school buses on Staten Island. Eventually, they were required citywide.
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Published on Jun 22, 2011