SUNNYSIDE — Sunnyside High School students were saddened to hear that popular AP Chemistry teacher Wayne Cone, 55, of Prosser, died as a result of a medical emergency Monday, Oct. 28.

According to SHS Principal Ryan Maxwell, Cone collapsed at school just before morning classes were to begin and later died at the Astria Sunnyside Hospital.

The School District issued a statement Tuesday, Oct. 29, saying counselors would be available to talk with students, staff, and families, as needed.

“We are saddened to inform you of the passing of Sunnyside High School teacher Wayne Cone,” the official announcement read. “Mr. Cone was someone who cared deeply about the success and well-being of every one of his students.”

District Communication Director Jessica Morgan said the district has arranged to have counselors available during the school day to assist students and faculty with the questions and grief which accompany such a difficult situation.

“Experiencing, witnessing, or even hearing of a traumatic incident such as this may affect a child or adult in a variety of ways; therefore, it is very important that students and teachers be given ample opportunity to ask questions and to talk about their reactions,” Morgan suggested.

“For some students a death of someone they know may remind them of some other loss in their lives. For others, this may be their first encounter with death.”

“We suggest you make an extra effort to listen to your child during this time. It is important you deal honestly and directly with any questions that he or she may have,” she concluded.

Prosser Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.

Julia Hart can be reached at 509-837-4500, ext. 123 or at jhart@sunnysidesun.com

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