RANGELEY — Sharon “Sherry” Connally was remembered Wednesday for being a passionate educator and a beautiful person with in-depth intellect.

Sharon Connally Tenino School District staff photo

Connally, 67, of Washington state died from injuries she suffered Tuesday afternoon when the SUV she was driving hit the back of a stopped dump truck on Route 17 in Rangeley.

She was a teacher at Rangeley Lakes Regional School for 24 years and then spent six years as principal before moving to Washington and becoming principal of Tenino Middle School in Tenino, Washington, according to her LinkedIn profile.

She spent six years as principal and then went back to teaching, her first love, fellow teacher and friend Tim Straub of Rangeley said Wednesday.

At the time of her death, Connally was a blended learning teacher at Tenino High School.

Tenino School District Superintendent Joe Belmonte said in an email Wednesday, “It is with great sadness I am acknowledging it is our Sherry who passed away. She served as both a school administrator and teacher for Tenino since 2013.


“Sherry was a dedicated teacher who cared deeply about her students, her family and those she worked with as an educator,” he wrote. “Most recently she taught English, Advanced Placement and oversaw our online courses at the high school. Sherry was a valued member of the Tenino family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family, friends and  fellow staff.

Also paying tribute was Susan Pratt of Strong, a former superintendent of the Rangeley school

“She was a kind, caring person and passionate teacher,” Pratt wrote in an email. “I am sure many previous students are in shock this morning to hear of her accident.”

People knew her for her laugh, her smile and her in-depth intellect, said Straub, who teaches English at the Rangeley school.

“When I arrived here 14 years ago, she was an instant friend and a great mentor,”  he said. “We both loved poetry. She was a stalwart progenitor of the arts.”

Straub wrote on his Facebook page late Tuesday: “(Connally) was the first birdsong of spring and the final trill of winter. That’s simply who she was. She taught countless to sing, of whom I was among the many…our cherie Sherry. Deep, unwavering love. Sleep now in the blissful harmony of forever.”

The two kept in touch and had seen each other this past weekend.

Connally was in the area visiting with daughter and son-in-law in Rangeley.

“She was a beautiful person,” Straub said. “My last words to her were, ‘I love you.'”

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