When Renee Negin, an assistant principal at Thomas Wootton High School, first heard that '06 graduate Jamie Hogan died in a car accident on June 2, Negin took out last year’s yearbook and flipped to the back.
Beside Jamie Hogan’s name was reference after page reference. Clubs, organizations, advertisements with senior friends — page after page showed Jamie’s bright blond hair and shining smile.
“It is obvious how much she was loved,” Negin said.
“She had four really great years here,” said Michael Doran, Wootton’s principal. “She was one of those kids that really loved high school — the friendships, the different classes you could take, the clubs you could be in.”
Hogan, originally from Canada, had just completed her freshman year of college at the University of British Columbia. She was the passenger in a car driven by Morgan Bauer that was struck by a tow truck just before 2 a.m. on Saturday, according to Montgomery County police. Hogan was killed in the crash and Bauer remains in critical condition at Suburban Hospital.
A memorial service was held for Hogan at St. James Episcopal Church in Potomac on Wednesday, June 6 and a candlelight vigil was held at Wootton on Friday, June 9.
IN THE DAYS following her death, friends and family have remembered Hogan for her unwavering optimism and enthusiasm, a girl who was friends with everyone because she found joy in all that she did.
Anna Koval and Caitlin Masterman grew to be best friends with Hogan after she and her family moved to the area when Hogan was in seventh grade. In the past seven years the girls shared a wealth of memories.
There was Jamie’s gerbil, whose “trick” was to run up Caitlin’s sleeve and then pee down her arm. Once when Koval was having a bad day, Hogan came over to cheer her up.
“Most people would bring ice cream to cheer a girl up,” Koval said. “Not Jamie. Jamie knocks on my door and come in carrying a large jar of applesauce, puts it on my table, and tells me to eat it.”
The week before her death Hogan took Koval out to a pond in Poolesville to go swimming. Koval was reluctant, but Hogan persisted.
“[She] made me get in among the dirt, bugs, and rocks. That’s just the kind of girl she was.”
There was the brief period when both Hogan and Masterman drove “burnt-asparagus colored Honda CR-Vs,” Masterman said. Masterman was mortified by her car’s appearance, which was uncool to say the least, but Hogan didn’t care. She didn’t sweat the small stuff.
“She knew how to live,” said Charles Berry, a neighbor of the Hogans. “I’m still learning from her, and I’m almost 60. … She took every minute, she was pedal to the metal.”
Jamie Hogan was a staunch vegetarian. She hated running the air conditioning in her car because she loved being outdoors. When she decided to learn a musical instrument she didn’t go middle-of-the-road, choosing instead to learn the didgeridoo, Koval said.
She was also fond of telling jokes, sometimes bad ones. The last joke that she told her father was about a dog trying to send a telegraph.
“She laughed harder than anyone at her jokes,” said her father, Dan Hogan.
Jamie was also a fan of music that spanned genres and generations. Sometimes she would play her new favorites for her father.
“I listened to the first few notes and I said ‘Jamie, I listened to that in seventh grade,’” Dan Hogan said.
DORAN KNEW Jamie better than he knows most of his 2,500 students. Between the summer of her sophomore and junior year he went on a 10-day trip to New Zealand with Jamie and 20 other students in Wootton’s humanities program and got to know her very well. When they returned they maintained a friendship, Doran said, and would chat in the school’s hallways, or when Jamie would pop into his office to catch up.
Doran said that the news of Hogan’s death was hard to take.
“When it hit, it was like, no, it couldn’t be, it couldn’t possibly be,” Doran said.
Hogan’s guidance counselor at Wootton described her last memory of Hogan was when she and a couple of other seniors were in her office talking about their college plans, laughing, joking and throwing Fruit Loops at each other.
“She was crazy, irreverent, focused, beautiful and smart,” said Hogan's guidance counselor. “There aren’t enough adjectives to describe her.”
Doran said she was also the kind of person whose positive energy left an impression on others.
“She was a bundle of energy, you never, ever saw her without a smile. … She had that internal light about her that lit everybody up,” said Doran. “You’d have wanted her to be your own daughter.”
Masterman just finished her freshman year at Virginia Tech University. This spring’s tragic shooting was traumatic, but she said that losing Hogan so unexpectedly shook her even more deeply.
“Jamie brought joy to everyone she met — you couldn’t help but to instantly love her,” Koval said. “She was like the sun — she radiated kindness, exuded beauty, and shed her light on every dark situation.”
Koval said that Hogan’s spirit will live on in those that knew her and that her memory should serve as an inspiration: do it the way Jamie would have.
“If you have a dream, go after it. If you love someone, tell them.”