Statement from USD 353 Regarding the Death of Steve Sturgis

Today, our district experienced the tragic loss of Steve Sturgis. Steve was a beloved teacher, mentor, coworker, and friend to all who knew him. He devoted over 20 years to our district as a photographer, webmaster and teacher. 


He began Wellington’s online presence in 1999 by starting his personal Crusader website and later took over the school district’s website and associated social media accounts in 2016. He was a substitute teacher for the district and most recently taught a digital media production class at WHS. 


People will remember what a wonderful person Steve was for many reasons, including his kindness and generosity. He was also genuine and humble. He never wanted credit for his hard work and dedication. He was happy being the man behind the lens and computer.  He spent countless hours documenting thousands of priceless memories for our students and community with his photos and writings. In fact, when asked why he started the website he would tell people that he simply wanted to show the world how great our students were.  


He was proud and dedicated to all things Crusaders. Most importantly, he was dedicated to teaching and mentoring our students. He loved to encourage them. It didn't matter the event or activity, Steve was there to document and showcase our students. He made our students feel special and like they mattered. And to him, they did matter. All of them.


The USD 353 school district is a better place because of Steve Sturgis. Let’s honor him and keep his spirit alive in our schools and community with our kindness, generosity and pride.  His impact will last a lifetime and the legacy he built will live on through his photos, the many students he helped, encouraged, mentored and the countless lives he touched. 


Our thoughts are with Steve’s family, our students, staff and entire community at this time.