The Sedalia School District 200 community is mourning the unexpected loss of a long-time teacher and counselor.
On Tuesday afternoon, Sept. 27, the district announced Pam Crafton died Monday, Sept. 26.
According to the announcement, Crafton began as an English teacher at Smith-Cotton High School in the 1993-94 school year. Before transitioning into the role of a counselor in 2005-06, she taught journalism classes and was the Smith-Cotton yearbook advisor.
“As a counselor at both Smith-Cotton High and S-C Junior High, she helped hundreds of students find success, always exhibiting an open ear and a caring heart,” the statement said.
“She retired at the end of the 2021-22 school year but returned this year to fill a needed role at Parkview Elementary.”
Smith-Cotton High School counselors Carmen Brock, Katie Ellis and Ashley McKee and Principal Wade Norton spoke with the Democrat about their memories of Crafton and how it was never a dull moment with her.
“Pam looked like the most disorganized person when you walked into her office, but when you went in to talk about a student, she knew exactly who you were talking about,” Norton said. “She could find that piece of paper within one of those 17 piles on her desk or in a corner. She was always fun.”
Norton added that Crafton always had a story to tell, whether about her family, hometown, or life.
Ellis said Crafton was very compassionate and had a heart for kids. No matter what, Crafton knew all her kids and was an expert in the mental health field.
“I got to meet her at the junior high when I went over there to be principal and then I was asked to come to the high school to be the principal and I made Pam come with me,” Norton said. “That’s how much she meant to me was to bring her over here.”
Norton said the loss of Crafton feels like he lost a member of his family. She meant a lot to the staff members in the district.
Brock worked with Crafton since her first day in the Sedalia district in 1994.
“We were friends immediately. There was a group of us teachers that would always have fun, we did girls trips,” Brock said. “She loved to laugh and she loved to make you laugh and have such a huge heart for everybody.”
Crafton was McKee’s supervisor. McKee said Crafton helped her through many times and never batted an eye about it.
“Family was everything to her and luckily, she included us as part of her family,” Norton said. “She cared about her husband, she cared about her kids and her grandchild. They are very important to her.”
All four staff members spoke about Crafton’s love for Sonic and McDonald's Diet Coke and unsweet iced tea. She would walk into the school every morning with a cup of each in either hand.
When asked what the kids meant to Crafton, Norton said it should be more about what the kids think of her.
Many students who had the opportunity to know Crafton have taken to Facebook to speak about their memories of her and what she meant to them.
“After (Communications Director) Bob (Satnan) put out the statement today, it just hit me that our lives come down to a paragraph,” Norton said. “I hope the kids realize when they look back at their time with Ms. Crafton that she cared about them and that I hope they take the feeling that she gave them and give it to somebody else. And I think that memory will last longer than a paragraph for Ms. Crafton and Sedalia.”
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