Harrisonburg schools mourning loss of Smithland Elementary teacher

Published: Jun. 17, 2022 at 5:55 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Harrisonburg City Public Schools is mourning the tragic loss of a Smithland Elementary School teacher. 37-year-old Stephanie Van Nortwick died on June 9 at UVA Hospital in Charlottesville after a car accident on June 7.

According to the Smithland Elementary website, Van Nortwick taught fifth grade. She is survived by her husband and two children.

The school’s vice principal Norris Bunn offered the following statement on her tragic passing:

“The Smithland community is mourning the loss of one of our finest teachers. Stephanie Van Nortwick was a creative educator who brought learning to life. She was passionate about teaching science. Her lessons were always creative and hands-on. She and her students helped design our garden and composting program. She loved animals and would constantly find ways to incorporate them into her lessons. Who knew goats, chickens, turkeys, and horses could teach students how to write persuasive letters or teach economics? Our Smithland family is devastated by this loss. She will be greatly missed. We are planning a ceremony to honor and remember her. We will share specific details as we are able.”

A GoFundMe for Van Nortwick’s family to cover medical expenses and funeral costs can be found here.

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