Waterloo school mourns loss of third grader - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo school mourns loss of third grader

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

It's been an emotional week for people in the Waterloo School District.

After the passing of Liz Crowley the Kingsley Elementary School principal was heart broken. While mourning Crowley's death she also had to deal with the passing of a student.

An desk sits empty in a third grade classroom at Kingsley. That desk belonged to 9-year-old Jacob Simon.

"He was incredibly compassionate, kind-hearted, ambitious, eager, talented and intelligent," described Amber Dietz, Kingsley Elementary school principal.

The third grader suddenly passed away Friday.

"Jacob's family had to say goodbye to a son, a grandson and a brother," said Dietz. "I think that everybody's hearts are broken."

Dietz says Jacob will be greatly missed.

"It's gonna be hard for them on Monday when they come back to school and he's not there with them," said Dietz. "I think we can all agree that it is an incredible nightmare to mourn the loss of a child or a grandchild."

Not only has the Waterloo School District lost Jacob, but days earlier, they lost a beloved principal.

Dietz is hopeful Liz Crowley's moto will help the district move past these tragedies.

"Liz's legacy is to take care of your people and I think that both the community of Waterloo and Waterloo schools has the opportunity to step up and do what she modeled for us for so many years, which is to take care of our people," said Dietz. "Now it's our time to do that for each other," said Dietz.

The school says they are standing by the Simon family.

"We are so sorry for his family," said Dietz. "We understand that students will be grieving and staff will be grieving, but there's nothing worse than losing a child...our hearts really go out to his family."

Both deaths are huge losses for the school and the community. Grief counseling will be offered starting Monday for students and staff at Kingsley.

Services for both Crowley and Jacob will be held this week. The school district is urging everyone to come and show their support for both families.
 

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