Dear Middleburgh families,
Under different circumstances I would have shared this information with our students in person. However, current events have isolated us from each other and I’m sharing this by email and on our website with the hope we are able reach everyone and be responsive to the many calls we have received while being sensitive to a family dealing with insurmountable grief.
Yesterday, March 31, Winter Shaul, one of our students, passed away as a result of an ATV accident. Winter, like all our students, was a beloved member of our school community. We will miss him tremendously. Please keep Winter and his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this terribly difficult time.
Because we’re living in unprecedented times and our school community is isolated from each other, I am aware that processing this news may be made more difficult. Please take some time to talk to your child about this to make sure he or she is okay.
We aim to take care of every student, but this is far more difficult when we’re not gathering in school every day and have the ability to have the face-to-face connections and conversations that are so important in normal times but even more so now. Although we are not physically together to cope with this tragic news, the district is committed to supporting students and staff who would like counseling and bereavement support services.
The death of a young person can cause anxiety for everyone, but especially for students. If you feel that your child is struggling with this information, or having any other mental health challenges while our buildings are closed, we encourage you to talk about this and help him or her work through grief or concerns.
Where appropriate, consider monitoring and discussing your child’s communications (social media, phone, e-mails, text messages) to further assess their potential needs.
We encourage anyone who feels a need to talk to someone during this sad time to reach out in the following ways:
Counselors will be available via phone at 518-827-3681 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning Thursday, April 2 to make arrangements for further support for students and families.
Teachers or parents can contact a counselor directly through email. Counselors can make arrangements to provide support or provide additional resources:
- School Psychologist Mary Beth Pandolfino: email@example.com
- School Counselor Heather Howe: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Student Support Counselor Catherine Murphy: email@example.com
Additionally, a Bassett mental health hotline is available at 1-844-255-7242. Schoharie County Mental Health Services are also available at 518-295-8336.