KINGFIELD — Samantha Wright was remembered Tuesday as a person with a good spirit and a dedicated teacher who loved her students and taught them the value of compassion and respect.

Wright, 38, of Kingfield was killed Monday in a two-vehicle crash on Route 27 in New Vineyard.

She was traveling north when her van was struck by another van, owned by National Distributors Inc. of South Portland. The driver, Craig Gage, 23, of Saco, hit an icy section on the side of the road, overcorrected and crossed the centerline into Wright’s lane, Franklin County Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. said.

Wright died at the scene; Gage was taken to a local hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, he said.

Wright was the founder and director of the Maine Mountain Children’s House, a Montessori preschool on Route 142.

“The school Sam created in Kingfield filled a much-needed space in our community, a caring place where kids learn the value of compassion and respect for each other in a supportive and caring environment,” Jeanne Rose, a parent of one of Wright’s students, said. “Samantha embodied the values that her school instills in its students. Her kindness and caring, respect and trust for her students provided the best of examples that I see my own daughter emulating.”

Wright started the school in 2003. It was first in the Methodist Church before moving to a home on Maple Avenue and finally to 156 Salem Road.

She earned a master’s degree in early childhood education and was Montessori certified.

Along with reaching children through her school, Wright worked with the Carrabassett Valley Recreation Department for about 13 years, Recreation Director Deb Bowker said.

She was the pool director for at least eight years, running the summer swim program, and she worked on the committee for a new community pool over the past four years, Bowker said. 

Code Enforcement Officer Bill Gilmore said the plan was to replace the 30-year-old pool.

Those involved in the town pool have become a close group, a family, Bowker said.

“She was a great spirit, happy all the time,” Bowker said. “She’d walk into a room and light it up.”

Wright was married to Andy Hodgins, and the couple had a daughter, Penelope Quinn Wright Hodgins, better known as PQ, who turned 1 in November, Bowker said.

“Her life was beginning to blossom,” Bowker said of Samantha.

Her life was full. She was about having fun but mostly about doing for other people, she added.

“It’s a huge loss, personally and for the community,” she said.

Wright’s parents, Nancy and Sam Wright of Clinton, shared their thoughts on a Facebook page for the family farm, The Wright Place, Tuesday.

It read: “In her 38 years on this Earth, she lived more of a life than most people ever get to. She was a loving wife and mother and a wonderful schoolteacher. She was the kind of person who never met a stranger, very social, positive and upbeat. If you were lucky enough to have ever met Samantha, then you were lucky enough.”

Students and families gathered at the school Tuesday night to remember Wright.

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