Bonneville School District mourns death of elementary school principal Oliver Roberts
Administrators, faculty, staff and students in Bonneville Joint School District 93 are mourning the accidental death Saturday of elementary school principal Oliver Roberts.
Roberts, 42, was the principal at Woodland Hills Elementary School for five years but had been with District 93 district for more than a decade. He previously worked as a principal at Iona Elementary School and an assistant principal at Rocky Mountain Middle School.
Superintendent Charles Shackett said Roberts is being mourned by the teachers he worked with and the students he oversaw.
“He was more than just an administrator. He was a friend to everyone, especially the students,” Shackett said.
Roberts was not the only member of his family who worked in the school district. His father, Bruce Roberts, had previously worked as an assistant principal at Iona before his son began working there. Shackett said that he had brought Roberts to Woodland Hills partly because of the family connection, but mostly because his leadership style “fit perfectly” with the school.
Idaho State Police said Roberts was killed Saturday evening after his utility terrain vehicle rolled down an embankment beside a trail near Pebble Creek Ski Area in Bannock County. A juvenile passenger was taken to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello for treatment.
The district sent a crisis team of psychologists and school counselors into Woodland Hills classrooms Monday to talk to students about the tragedy. The team also met with Woodland teachers at an emergency staff meeting Sunday night to help them cope with the loss.
“I think a lot of the emotions were shared last night so the teachers could be strong for the students,” Shackett said.
The district posted a Facebook message and video Sunday alerting parents to the accident and encouraging them to talk to their children. Roberts’ son is a sixth-grader at the school and administrators worried that connection would make the loss even tougher for the older students.
District 93 has already started looking for an interim principal to manage the school until they can find a new principal.
Oliver Roberts’ funeral is scheduled for noon Thursday at the Ammon Foothills Stake Center, 3934 East 49th South. District 93 will cancel all classes that day to allow the staff and students to attend and pay their respects.