PARKERSBURG, W.Va. – Blennerhassett Middle School Principal Jim Hostottle died over the weekend. Now students and staff are mourning his loss. The cause of his death has not been released.
“It’s quite a shock,” said Wood County Assistant School Superintendent Mike Fling, a friend of Hostottle.
“He was very student-centered. He was always focused on positive relationships between students and students and faculty, encouraging students constantly,” according to Fling.
Hostottle, a former teacher and assistant principal, took over the top job at Blennerhassett Middle School back in 2008.
“A lot of kids who didn’t feel like they fit in anywhere else knew they could come to him and he would have a positive word for them,” explained Fling.
Hostottle’s death was sudden. Teachers and staff gathered Sunday to deal with the death themselves and decide how best to handle it with their students on Monday morning.
“We just wanted to make sure that we were prepared to answer as many questions as we could,” said Fling.
The staff also dealt with Hostottle’s death in their own way.
“There were a lot of laughs and tears and some anger, as there always will be,” Fling said.
Six school counselors were on hand Monday. The staff set up a room where students could meet with those counselors and talk about their feelings.
Funeral arrangements have not been released.