Mourning a loss in HISD

May 21, 2008 5:27:55 PM PDT
The Houston Independent School District is mourning the loss of a beloved and devoted teacher, just days before the end of the school year. Shelley Clutterbuck, 42, a Parker Elementary School teacher and HISD West Region Special Ed Teacher of the Year died Tuesday at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital after a seven-year battle with breast cancer.

"This is a devastating loss for all of us. Ms. Clutterbuck was an incredibly loving, gentle, kind person. She made a difference in the lives of children every single day. Just recently she was named the HISD West Region Special Education Teacher of the Year. She richly deserved that honor," Parker Principal "Cappy" Selig said in a phone call to parents. "Ms. Clutterbuck loved all of our children, and the children loved her. In this very difficult time, let us be comforted by those memories and by the understanding that what she was here to do -- what we are all here to do -- is to give our children every chance to succeed."

In an email to teachers and staff members, Principal Selig announced the loss and urged continued focus on children.

"More than anything today, Shelley would want us all to keep right on going with what it is that we're here to do every day: take care of our children," the principal wrote. "Let's honor Shelley and what she stood for by being strong and resolute today and for the remainder of the school year as we teach the children of Parker Elementary School and this community. We will lean on each other and on the wonderful memories we have of Shelley as we see this school year through to its end."

Ms. Clutterbuck had two young children, including a son who is sixth-grader and a daughter who is a third-grader at Parker Elementary She had eight years experience outside of HISD. This was her third year at Parker Elementary.

She was an active volunteer at Parker, serving as an associate teacher before becoming full time three years ago as a pre-Kindergarten teacher and as pres-school special education teacher this year.

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