Remembering Georgia Philbrook | Letter to the editor

by Kyle Freeman

Orcas High School Principal

It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that we write to inform all members of the Orcas Island school community of the death of our beloved Georgia Philbrook.

Georgia was known by many as the face and voice of Orcas Island Middle and High School for most of the 38 years that she worked in the Orcas Island School District, and we know her loss will be felt by many students, staff, parents and community members. It is hard to imagine that there are more people that impacted other people in our school community over the past four decades than Georgia.

We also know that no one will be more impacted by this loss than Georgia’s family, and we share our love and sympathy with all of the members of her immediate and extended family. Georgia spent the last year enjoying retirement living on her family’s farm while also helping to raise her great-grandson in her home town of Florence, Oregon. We are glad to share that Georgia was not alone during this time and was with family in Oregon when she passed away.

It is hard to know how anyone will react to a loss such as this. We encourage parents to speak with their children, find out how they are feeling and let them share their feelings or concerns with you. While we are currently not in school, we are very willing to help students and families to access support if needed during the grieving process; please do not hesitate to contact us if you need or want this support.

At this time we have no information regarding memorial services or other remembrances planned by the family. As more information becomes available we will work to share it with you. We will also consider how to appropriately recognize this loss as we begin the new school year. Please join us in keeping Georgia’s family in our thoughts as they and we grieve her loss and celebrate her life.