Update: 3:40 p.m.
The superintendent of the Central Okanagan Public Schools says students and staff at Rutland Senior Secondary are coping with a tragic situation in the sudden death of a popular teacher.
Kevin Kaardal says a critical response team remains in the school, a day after students were told teacher Tim Lingor had died suddenly.
“They are doing as well as can be expected in these circumstances. There are no easy answers,” said Kaardal, noting grief counsellors and support for staff, students and the community will be available as long as it’s needed.
“What we are trying to do is help people deal with the trauma of an unexpected event,” he said.
Lingor is being remembered as a popular teacher and students at the school have taken the news hard. Tributes on Facebook point to him being well-liked.
“He brought so much light to so many lives,” wrote Niki Murrant. “It’s been over 10 years and I still consider him the best teacher I ever had. He was the only thing that made school tolerable for me. This is a devastating blow. Words can’t even describe what he meant to his students, he was there for everybody through the good and the bad.”
“He was one of my favourite teachers that I have ever had,” wrote Jocelynn Hekkert. “He was passionate and really cared. Occasionally I would visit and he would always be happy to chat and catch up.”
Kaardal said in a tragedy such as this one, it’s important that friends and family of those who knew Lingor are supportive, to help deal with their grief.
“We will continue to support the community,” he added.
Students at Kelowna’s Rutland Senior Secondary are in shock after the death of one of their teachers.
Grief counsellors were brought into the school yesterday as support centres were set up in the school, helping students and staff deal with the sudden death of Tim Lingor, a popular law and social studies teacher.
“Mr. Lingor was one of the most beloved teachers at RSS. At lunch, his classroom was filled with kids just wanting to be around him. Alumni frequently dropped by, often sharing deeply personal struggles with him, inviting his voice and presence into their lives,” wrote Bri Dyck on Facebook, a former practicum student.
“His desk was always covered in Tim Hortons coffee cups or pop cans—all of which were brought to him by adoring students. He could poke fun mercilessly, but could also exude incredible warmth—opening his heart to students, providing quiet safety and unquestioning acceptance,” she said.
At RSS yesterday, the school district’s Post Critical Incident Response Team was brought in to assist students and staff while assistance centres were set up and supported by trained professionals, wrote principal Hugh Alexander in a letter to parents.
“We will do all we can to assist our staff and students who require attention and support,” wrote Alexander. “We have been advised by the professionals who are assisting us that we need to help our students and staff return to normal routines as soon as possible.
There is no word on the cause of death at this point.