Monday was a somber day for Tiffin and the city schools.
The day followed a fire that killed six people - five children and one adult.
Stormie Huey and Tiara Angel were students at Washington K-1 Elementary School.
PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY
Tiffin City Schools mascot Teddy Tornado visited Washington K-1 Elementary School Monday to help students in the grieving process after the fire Sunday morning that took the lives of six people, including two Washington students.
Washington first-grade teacher Leslie Poignon said Tiara was a sweet, smiley, beautiful little girl.
"I will always remember every day Tiara would come up to me with a big smile on her face," Poignon said.
The girls were very sweet and always smiling, Washington Principal Kelly Stahl said.
"Our hearts go out to the family," Stahl said. "It is difficult to imagine how to deal with a tragedy like this. The building is in a very somber mood."
Kindergarten teacher Rachel Walland described Stormie as a student who always smiled, always followed directions and always was helpful with other students.
"Stormie had lots of friends in class," Walland said. "I will always remember her especially during the Chicken Count song. It was her favorite song, and when she heard it she would have the biggest smile on her face. It made her very happy."
The district had its crisis team on hand at Washington Monday. The team, made up of guidance staff, school psychologist, contracted counselors from Wyandot Counseling Associates LLC and a pastor, answered questions and were there for any students or faculty who needed them.
"We wanted to make sure students were provided support throughout the day," Superintendent Donald Coletta said. "The team was available to help students understand as best they can and provide them with a stable environment."
Coletta said students and families are very important to the district and it is important to provide them with as much support as possible.
"It is not just about getting an education. It is about supporting the students as they grow up and providing them with the services they will need to be a success and to be comfortable," Coletta said. "During these situations, everyone pulls together to provide support that the family needs, as well as support for the students and friends need to move forward."
Also on hand at the building was Kennedy, the district's therapy dog, and his handler guidance counselor Suzanne Reinhart.
"Kennedy has a knack for which child to put his head on his or her lap, and which child to sit beside," Reinhart said. "Kennedy is good at putting a smile on a child's face and is good at sensing who needs a little extra in their day."
Teddy Tornado, the district's mascot, also came to Washington to visit the children at recess.
Stahl, who came from Hopewell-Loudon Schools as the assistant principal, said all schools pull together resources to support one another.
"The needs of the students come first," Stahl said, "We are here to help provide students the place to talk and ask questions and to process grief in age appropriate ways."