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USD 475 mourning loss of Washington Elementary principal



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April 25, 2014
Update: A special time of remembrance for Lorraine Walker has been planned from 5 to 7 p.m. today in the Washington Elementary School cafeteria.

USD 475 also has announced celebration of life services for Walker will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Junction City Middle School. Visitation will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Penwell-Gabel Mass-Hinitt Chapel.

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Unified School District 475 is mourning the loss of one of a longtime principal after she passed away Friday.

Washington Elementary School principal Lorraine Walker was found unresponsive in her office around 12:30 p.m. Friday, according to district officials. She was rushed to Geary Community Hospital, and USD 475 officials were notified at approximately 1:30 p.m. Walker had passed away.

USD 475 Board of Education president Ferrell Miller and interim Superintendent Beth Hudson were at the hospital with her, as was James Russell, who has been appointed the family spokesperson.

"This is just a very sad time for USD 475 to lose her," USD 475 Board of Education President Ferrell Miller said. "She loved her kids, she loved her school family, she loved her father, her community and her church. She would do anything for you."

A special time of rememberance has been planned from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday in the school cafeteria.

Letters were sent home with students addressing the situation, and staff at Washington Elementary School was informed shortly after 3 p.m. District administration was notified by Hudson and Miller at approximately 4:30 p.m.

Walker started her career with USD 475 in August of 1981 at Washington Elementary as a third-grade teacher. In 1986, she taught at the Alternative Center for three years, but in 1988, she returned to Washington Elementary School as a principal. She's been there ever since.

"I've known her for a long time," Miller said. "She has been a great leader in our district, and also a friend."

Grief counselors will be available to students, staff and community members.

School will be in session Monday. District grief counselors will be available for students and staff all week.

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