Principal’s death devastates community

School District 53 officials have suffered a “devastating” loss after the principal of Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School in Oliver died on Saturday.

School District 53 officials have suffered a “devastating” loss after the principal of Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School in Oliver died on Saturday.

Chris Hambleton, 43, had a long and distinguished career in School District 53 and is described as a strong and caring leader, who made endless contributions outside of his administrative role including choirfest, Band-a-rama, integrated library system and technology. A press release from the school district said family is working with medical resource personnel to determine the facts surrounding the tragic death.

“Chris cared deeply about his students and was a friend, mentor and role model to staff and administrators in this district. He was well respected and will be deeply missed by everyone,” said School District 53 chairperson June Harrington. “Our hearts and prayers go to Chris’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

Hambleton began his employment with the school district with two years teaching at Osoyoos Elementary School as a teacher-librarian, music and computer teacher. He then spent one year at Cawston Primary School as a Grade 4 classroom and school music teacher. Hambleton began his administrative career at Osoyoos Elementary School from 2003 to 2009 before being appointed as principal of Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School in September 2009.

In response to Hambleton’s death, the school and district has implemented a plan which provides those affected by the tragedy across the district with an opportunity to talk about their thoughts and feelings with trained professional staff.

Information regarding funeral or memorial services is not available at this time.