A school community is mourning after an Illinois physical education teacher died at her home on Jan. 8. Heineman Middle School Principal Stephanie Mitchell informed parents that Heather Frederick, 48, died in a letter earlier this month, according to the Lake & McHenry County Scanner. Frederick led the school’s physical education department for 21 years. Mitchell described Frederick as an “important and vibrant member” of the school community in her letter, stating that she “will be dearly missed across all of Huntley [District 158].” McHenry County Coroner Michael Rein shot down rumors that Frederick had died in a car accident, stating instead that she died at her home in Marengo, Illinois. “There does not appear to be any foul play involved with her death or any community safety issue,” the coroner told the Lake & McHenry County Scanner of the death. The cause of Frederick’s death is unclear. The teacher’s obituary states that she passed away peacefully. Rein indicated that toxicology tests were still pending after Frederick’s autopsy last week. The physical education teacher had taught at Heineman Middle School since its opening in 2005, according to the County Scanner. Frederick is survived by her husband, children and a grandchild, according to her obituary. Tory Ream, Frederick’s son, mourned his mother in an Instagram post following her untimely death.
Social workers of the school district are being made available to support the community. “We know that grief can take shape in many ways, and we encourage you to please reach out for any additional support you or your student(s) may need at this time,” Mitchell urged the community in her letter. Her family is requesting that her mourners donate to Give Love for Life in lieu of flowers. The teacher founded the charity to benefit disabled and sick children. A memorial service for Frederick is being held at Heineman Middle School on Wednesday evening, according to her obituary. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.View this post on Instagram