Central Kitsap, North Kitsap principals’ hard duty

Two students are dead because of violence. And it fell upon their principals to notify school families and students.

SEABECK — Two students are dead because of violence. And it fell upon their principals to notify school families and students.

Following the quadruple murders in Seabeck on Jan. 29, principals at North Kitsap High School and Klahowya Secondary School in the Central Kitsap School District had to do just that.

NKHS Principal Megan Sawicki notified parents and staff on Jan. 29 that one of the deceased was identified as Hunter Schaap, an 11th-grader at NKHS.

“This weekend we received conflicting reports about Hunter’s whereabouts and safety,” she wrote in an email to parents and staff. “I am deeply saddened to share that Hunter’s family has confirmed and requested that we share with you that he was one of the victims of suspected homicide early Saturday morning.

“For those of you who knew Hunter, we ask that you remember his wit, intelligence, and big heart. This is a great loss for our entire NKHS community … I know you join me in extending our heartfelt sympathy to Hunter’s family members and friends.”

In response to a request from the North Kitsap Herald, the school district public information office issued this information about Schaap:

“Hunter played football for NKHS and lettered twice, playing running back and linebacker. He also played second base for the baseball team for two years. From Coach Jeff Weible: ‘He was a good athlete that played really hard and loved being a Viking. He loved playing with his brothers.’ ”

Jodie Woolf, principal at Klahowya Secondary School in Silverdale, notified parents and staff about the death of Johnathon Higgins, 16.

“It is with great sadness that we share the loss of Johnathon Higgins,” she wrote. “He was an 11th grade student at Klahowya Secondary School.Johnathon passed away over the weekend in a house fire. We are deeply saddened by this loss. Johnathon attended KSS since 7th grade. We will miss his joy, willingness to help and remarkable love for his family and friends. Our thoughts are with Johnathon’s family and friends during this sad and difficult time.”

Both schools had counselors available for staff and students. In addition, they pledged to provide ongoing support as needed.

In addition, a GoFundMe account has been established to defray the victims’ funeral expenses. As of early Jan. 31, some 75 people had contributed $6,415 of the $50,000 goal. A student or students painted a tribute to Schaap on the rock on the North Kitsap High School grounds. Flowers and other tributes were left outside of Juanito’s Taco Shop, which is owned by the family of a third victim, on Kitsap Way.

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