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District mourns recent deaths

(An image circulating on social media this week after several deaths in Pontiac's District 429)

Recent deaths in Pontiac’s District 429 are hitting the community hard.

Four deaths have occurred within the school district this school year with three of those occurring in the past two weeks.

Longtime custodian Darin Brantley passed away last summer while district bookkeeper Jill Amm and second grade teacher Dawn Eckhoff passed away in recent weeks. Plus, an eighth-grade student at Pontiac Junior High died following a medical event late last week.

“It’s been a pretty tough time,” admits Mike Weaver, District 429 Superintendent.

After learning of Mrs. Eckhoff’s passing, buildings were opened for staff to gather. There are plans in place when students return from spring break, especially those who were in Mrs. Eckhoff’s class.

“We are going to have the county crisis response team help out with our social workers to have people to help students and staff through these tough times,” notes Weaver.

Counselors will also be available when Pontiac Junior High students return from break.

“I am very confident that we will have enough staff on hand for difficult times when students return on Tuesday of next week,” added Weaver.

Weaver notes a student loss is tragic as in many cases, this is the first time a student has had to deal with the loss of someone they’ve known.

“It’s going to hit our district hard. These people are not taken lightly at all, they were definitely beloved.”



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