Sad News from Westridge School
December 5, 2011
Dear Westridge Community:
It is with great sadness that I write to you to let you know of the death of Tim Wright, Middle and Upper School drama teacher and director of our musical and drama productions. Tim had very recently been diagnosed with cancer, and this news, as well as his sudden passing on Friday evening, has taken us all by surprise.
This was Tim’s 19th year working at Westridge. During this time he was instrumental in building the drama department and transitioning the program from its home in Braun to the Performing Arts Center. From musicals and black box productions, to directing and acting classes, Westridge students loved Tim’s storytelling. He guided and inspired them to great heights, as those of you who witnessed the recent musical Little Shop of Horrors, and this weekend’s production of Steel Magnolias can attest.
This morning, we brought together our Middle and Upper School faculty, staff and students to share the news. We talked about how death can be difficult to understand, especially when it is sudden. We also talked about how we may be confronted with many different emotions, including shock, sadness, confusion and even anger. We noted how someone’s death can often bring up feelings about other deaths that one has experienced. We assured our students that we care about them and the feelings that they might be experiencing. Administrators, faculty and counselors will be on hand throughout the day to provide guidance and support. As you can imagine, this has been particularly overwhelming for a number of Tim’s drama students.
Lower School homeroom teachers were also advised of Tim’s passing this morning, and were asked to share this news in age appropriate ways with their students.
When we have more information from Tim’s family, we will share details about ways in which he may be honored and remembered. We will also keep you informed of ways in which Westridge, as a community of parents, students, past parents, alumnae, faculty, and staff will do the same.
I spoke with Tim on Thursday. He noted how he was looking forward to getting well and coming back to school. He asked me to share these words with the cast of Steel Magnolias on Opening Night: “Take your leap with me and skip and dance and prove that you can’t fall off the mountain when you have magic and golden love in your heart – and realize, that I will be right beside you.”
Tim – we will keep your words in mind and will continue to climb the mountain, with our memory of all that you brought to us in our hearts.
Elizabeth J. McGregor
Head of School