As Quesnel students return to school, they remember beloved vice-principal

A service for Brian Cullinane will be held April 6 at 2 p.m. in Correlieu Secondary School’s gym

A memorial underneath Brian Cullinane’s office window at Correlieu Secondary School celebrates a man who believed in his students and helped them believe in themselves.

Cullinane, the school’s vice-principal, passed away suddenly over spring break, and a memorial with flowers, balloons, candles and message boards has been set up outside his office.

“Students, parents and community members are invited to continue to add items to this memorial,” principal Dennis Hawkins-Bogle said in a note to parents and guardians, which was shared on the school’s Facebook page. “Our students will manage it and keep it tidy.”

A note from Bazil Spencer says: “Thank you for being my biggest supporter in every single thing I’ve done. I wouldn’t be where I am right now or be able to get to where I want to be without you. You were taken too soon.”

“Thank you for always caring, supporting and encouraging us to be the best that we could,” writes Lexi Plante.

Jorja writes: “Thank you for being an amazing mentor and friend. You’ve taught me so much, and we will all miss you forever.”

It’s clear that Cullinane had a big impact on everyone around him and that he will be missed dearly.

To help students and staff at such a difficult time, when Correlieu re-opened Monday (April 1) after spring break, the school held a school-wide assembly to honour Cullinane, and staff set up a room at the school for students who need comfort and support.

Correlieu counsellors and other district counsellors are available to help students, and the Correlieu Parent Advisory Council is providing refreshments for students in Room 302 for the week.

“Our school is grieving the loss of Mr. Cullinane, and we acknowledge the need for staff and students to come together,” said Hawkins-Bogle. “This is a very difficult time for our school and community. As we mourn collectively, it is important that we acknowledge each individual’s need to experience grief and to mourn in their own way.

A service for Mr. Cullinane will be held Saturday, April 6 at 2 p.m. in the Correlieu gymnasium.

“Mr. Cullinane was a dedicated and involved vice-principal,” Hawkins-Bogle said in an earlier note sent to parents and posted on the school’s Facebook page. “He was kind, thoughtful and displayed compassion and sensitivity to others, which endeared him to staff and students alike.”

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