Bryant School District mourns the loss of elementary school principal
The Bryant School District said on its Facebook page Sunday that one of its elementary school principals had suddenly passed away over the weekend.
For the last eight years, Katie Thomas served as the principal of Collegeville Elementary School. According to Thomas’ mother, the 37-year-old died after suffering a massive heart attack.
Cory Pratt has a child in first grade at Collegeville and considered Thomas a friend.
"We all know her. Our kids all know her," Pratt said. "I’m her age. She was 37, I’m 39. It was a shock. We thought a lot of her, she was very approachable and easy to talk to. The school district is strong here and I think most of the parents in the area and they are proud that we have a strong school district so there will be some rallying around that.”
Directly next to Collegeville Elementary School, you’ll find Larry’s Pizza, which serves as a lunch-break hot spot for some of the school’s staff.
“To hear about her death is just tragic," said Anna Heath, a server at Larry’s Pizza. "Larry and Greg will probably try to do donations for pizza and that kind of stuff for the family. As a community, we always try to stick with one another and support in the ways we can."
On Monday, the school district superintendent said in a statement on Thomas's death:
"Mrs. Thomas was an exceptional leader. She was always determined as apparent by her becoming Collegeville’s building principal at the age of 29. Katie was kind yet strong. She treated everyone with respect, but had no problems setting you straight if you were not doing what was best for “her babies”. She held the respect and love of those who worked with her. The loss of Katie Thomas will not only leave a hole for the Bryant School District but for all of those who had the honor of knowing her."
Dr. Karen Walters, Superintendent
Bryant Public Schools
According to Thomas’ obituary, she is survived by her husband Jared and their son Luke. A service celebrating her life will be this Thursday at Geyer Springs Baptist Church.