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 Grade 4 teacher Jodie Wentworth died suddenly last 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.
Wentworth started with the district in May 1998 in a temporary position at Bastion Elementary School, according to the school district. In March 1999, she moved on to fill a temporary position at South Broadview Elementary School.
In September 2000, she wen to M.V. Beattie Elementary School, where she worked until 2010, after which she moved on to Hillcrest Elementary. Wentworth celebrated 20 years of service in June.
“I am sure you will join me in sending our condolences to Jodie’s family at this difficult time,” said Jory.
“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 dida phenomenal job of supporting the school, staff and community.
He said Monday counselling staff were at the school. Extra teachers, retired teachers and others who don’t teach on Mondays also went to help out.
“Students are getting counselling as needed, and staff as well,” Ritchie said.
He described Wentworth as one of the most caring, kind and patient people he’d ever ever met.
“She was very professional, just an amazing mom, and a beloved teacher and colleague for everyone here,” he said.
Many accolades for Wentworth have been posted on social media, describing her as a much-loved teacher.