Much loved former keremeos vice principal dies suddenly

Barton Tumlinson, vice-principal at SESS from 2009 to 2013 died suddenly Friday, January 23.

Barton Tumlinson

A former vice-principal of Similkameen Elementary Secondary School, who made a huge impact on students, staff and the community has died.

Barton Tumlinson, vice-principal at SESS from 2009 to 2013 died suddenly Friday, January 23 after falling ill and being taken to hospital. The cause of death has not been confirmed.

He was 44.

“Barton cared deeply about his students, staff and the district. He was a loyal friend and mentor and will be deeply missed by everyone. Our hearts and prayers go to Barton’s wife, children, extended family, co-workers and friends at this difficult time,” Marieze Tarr, chairperson of school district 53 stated in a press release.

Tumlinson was described as “a kind, visible and gentle leader who was loved and respected by students, parents and staff,” in a board pres release

Tumlinson was born in Salmon Arm. His career in education spanned 18 years.

After leaving SESS in 2013 he went on to serve as principal at Oliver Elementary and was in that role until his untimely death late last week.

He made his home in Penticton.

“Our immediate focus is to support the students and staff who are impacted by this tragic loss. In response, schools and the district have implemented a plan, which allows those affected by this tragedy an opportunity to talk about their thoughts and feelings with trained professional staff,” the press release from the school district stated.

Grief counsellors were available at SESS early this week for any student or faculty that required help.

A funeral service will take place on Saturday, January 31 at 2 p.m. at the Penticton Alliance Church.

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