A deep loss for our school family

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It is with deep sadness that I share the following announcement: After a brief battle with cancer, Laurel Charlong was called home to Jesus, surrounded by her family, on Wednesday, December 7. Laurel has been an integral part of Maple Ridge Christian School since 2014. She worked in various teaching roles in our primary and secondary schools, as well as championing our sports teams in her role as Athletic Director.

Our Acting Assistant Principal, Stacy Sowerby, visited with Laurel last Saturday and noted that as she sat with Laurel, there were a variety of books around her. Books on how to fight cancer with nutrition, a notebook for research, her computer, but on top of it all was her Bible. She was always steadfast in her faith and loved Jesus and remained grounded in Him.

Our entire school community is grieving the loss of a beloved colleague and friend. Staff and students are receiving support in their classrooms this week. Students can have varied reactions to the death of a teacher and coach, especially if there has been a significant relationship. This wide range of reactions is normal in the grieving process and can vary from withdrawal, to crying and anger. We encourage you to openly dialogue with your child about their reactions and feelings.

At this time, we ask for our community to pray for the Charlong/Penner family. Words may fail us, but we trust in the promises of God’s word and pray for the peace that passes all understanding. In this Christmas season, we rest our hope on the glorious truth of the work Jesus came to do and that, in this season, He truly is our Prince of Peace.

“When my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.” Psalm 61: 2

We pray that the Shalom of God will be with us all at this time,

Quentin Flokstra
Lead Principal