By Will Blakely, 1819 News
Jefferson County School System administrators canceled school on Wednesday after a teacher died on a high school campus early Wednesday morning.
According to reports, the teacher, who was also a bus driver, passed away just before 7:30 a.m. at Mortimer Jordan High School. The incident occurred in the parking lot and involved a school bus, and no students saw it happen, but authorities offered no other details.
Officials did not offer the teacher’s identity but told the press that the family had been notified. The teacher had been working at the school for more than 20 years.
According to WVTM 13 News’ Guy Rawlings, the teacher is Mark Ridgeway, whose wife also teaches at the school.
Per Rawlings, Ridgeway was “completing his pre-trip bus inspection when it started rolling and pinned him.”
Class will resume Thursday, and the school will make grief counselors available to students and faculty.
Principal Craig Kanaday issued the following statement: “Mark Ridgeway, a graduate of Mortimer Jordan, dedicated his life to serving people. He pastored a church until his recent retirement this past summer all while teaching the students of Mortimer Jordan High School and driving a school bus. He was a selfless and devoted person to his faith, his family, and his school. As a personal colleague of mine for more than 25 years, Mark leaves behind cherished memories but also a great void among all circles of his life. It’s in times like these that I am reminded that life is fragile and precious.”
Several other members of the community took to Facebook and Twitter on Wednesday to ask for prayer and offer their condolences for the teacher’s family.