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Superintendent Update for 11-15-2021



November 15, 2021 

Dear Panther families and staff,   

     All of us at District OR-1 were saddened to receive news this weekend of the tragic accidental death of  Kade Reiman, second grade teacher at Bennet Elementary. While the news remains shocking and sudden, I will tell you that the collective and compassionate support and response exhibited by our administrative team, Crisis Response Team, community, surrounding school districts, school board, and staff members has been inspiring. Although we may differ in opinion and perspective on a variety of current, sometimes controversial, and very real-life challenges, it is evident to me that when one of our Panther “family” members needs support, District OR-1 stands ready. I am comforted to know that our community doesn't have to face this crisis alone. Together, we rise, and I remain confident we will do whatever it takes to help our students, our staff, and each other move forward. 

     Mr. Kade Reiman joined our Panther family earlier this year (District OR-1 was his first teaching job). Kade did an outstanding job of caring for our students, and he was purposeful and authentic in making meaningful and positive connections with our staff, his students (especially his second grade students), our families, and the athletes he coached. Although Mr. Reiman was only in our district for just a short period of time, we are extremely grateful that he was able to share his special gifts and talents with us. Mr. Reiman’s friendly demeanor, team attitude, and commitment to our kids are blessings we shouldn’t overlook, despite the challenges and sadness we feel with his loss.  Although we don’t know details at this time, we will share funeral arrangements once they become available. 

     The start of school this morning was emotional and challenging for many, but it was also healing.  In times like these, it is even more evident that school is not only a place of learning, but also a place of connections and relationships. Today, in an effort to help our staff and students, support staff trained in crisis management (from our school district and surrounding districts) will remain available during the school day. Tomorrow is a “no school” day for students, and we encourage parents to continue to talk with your children about how they are feeling and if they have any questions about what they have experienced. 

     Additionally, I want to encourage those students and staff who remain particularly upset, perhaps even struggling with a crisis of their own that may be amplified by this situation, to continue to talk with our school counselors and administration, or a trusted adult. Death can be difficult for us to understand, especially when it is so sudden. Getting help is not a sign of weakness, but rather one of strength. Also, if you, as a parent or guardian, would like your child to visit with one of our counselors, please call our school offices or send a note to your child’s teacher or building principal. 

     In closing, I want to assure you that we, the District OR-1 family of educators, care deeply about our students and staff. We will continue to do our best to support our students, staff, and families with the feelings, questions, and concerns they may be experiencing.