BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - A Tapestry Charter School teacher passed away unexpectedly Monday, while leading an international student trip to Costa Rica.
Sarah Acton died suddenly while rafting on Monday. The school says students in Costa Rica are safe and under the care of the program's student exchange coordinator in Costa Rica. The Tapestry Lower School's Assistant Principal Jack Turner is arriving in Costa Rica Tuesday, to be with the students and make arrangements for them to return to Buffalo.
Joy Pepper, former director of the Tapestry Charter School, said, "Sarah could not have been a more joyful, happy, giving person, such a dedicated educator. So passionate about teaching and about helping kids succeed."
Family members tell News 4 that Acton took this trip on her own time to give her students a hands-on lesson of the culture they were learning about in her classroom. This was the fifth time she had led such a trip.
"There's the mystery of one minute she was sitting in the back of the raft laughing with her students and the next she was [unresponsive]," Pepper said.
Administrators say Acton suffered a medical emergency. And though there was a nurse on board the raft, the nurse was unable to save Acton.
Pepper said, "No one should have to go through this. No family should have to lose a person so young with so much talent and future."
The school released a statement, saying beloved teacher Sarah Acton has been a "dedicated, caring and loving educator in the Tapestry community for over five years."
The school says they have implemented a plan for responding to a tragic event. They say there is personnel available to students who need special attention and support.
It remains unclear how Acton passed away.
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