File Photo – Heineman Middle School | Photo: District 158

School officials say they are “heartbroken and deeply saddened” after a longtime gym teacher at a middle school in Algonquin died on Saturday.

Heineman Middle School Principal Stephanie Mitchell sent a letter to the parents of Heineman Middle School about the death of Heather Frederick.

Frederick was the school’s physical education department leader and teacher.

She died on Saturday but the school has not provided additional information on the circumstances of her death.

Frederick was a part of the Huntley District 158 community for 21 years.

She served as a physical education teacher at Heineman Middle School since its opening in 2005.

She served as an “important and vibrant member” of the school community and “will be dearly missed across all of Huntley,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said the school recognizes the loss will present a challenging time for the entire Huntley District 158 community, especially the students.

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Heineman Middle School said they have dedicated counselors and social workers who are trained to help with the needs of students, parents and school personnel.

Social workers from throughout the district will assist in providing support.

“We know that grief can take shape in many ways, and we encourage you to please reach out for any additional support you or your student(s) may need at this time,” Mitchell said in the letter.

Parents who have a child that needs to speak to a counselor or social worker are asked to call the school.