Sadness has been the overriding emotion for many at Hillcrest Elementary in Salmon Arm and throughout the school district this week.
Teachers, staff, students and families learned that Grade 4 teacher Jodie Wentworth had passed away suddenly over the weekend.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the recent and sudden passing of Hillcrest teacher Jodie Wentworth,” reads a circular from School District 83 Superintendent Peter Jory.
“Jodie started with the district in May 1998 in a temporary position at Bastion Elementary School. In March 1999, she moved to fill a temporary position at South Broadview Elementary School. In September 2000, Jodie moved to M.V. Beattie Elementary School where she worked until 2010, after which she moved to Hillcrest Elementary. She reached 20 years of service in June of this year.
“I am sure you will join me in sending our condolences to Jodie’s family at this difficult time. Any information received regarding a celebration of life for Jodie will be shared with staff when it is available.”
Hillcrest principal Gord Ritchie said the district has been doing a phenomenal job of supporting the school, staff and community.
He said Monday a lot of counselling staff were in the building, including extra teachers, retired teachers and others who don’t teach on Mondays who came in to help out.
“Students are getting counselling as needed, and staff as well.”
Ritchie described Wentworth this way:
“She was one of the most caring, kind and patient people I’ve ever met. She was very professional, just an amazing mom, and beloved teacher and colleague for everyone here.”
Much sadness and many accolades for her have been posted on social media, describing her as a much-loved teacher.