Cosmopolis principal/superintendent passes after short illness

Community mourning loss of Cherie Patterson

The Cosmopolis community is reeling from the untimely passing Thursday of Cosmopolis Elementary Principal and Superintendent, Cherie Patterson. Patterson was diagnosed with an undisclosed type of cancer just weeks ago and within a very short time her condition deteriorated.

Always eager to showcase her school, teachers, or their programs, Patterson could speak at length on the goals and plans she had for the students and staff at Cosmopolis Elementary. She was a strident cheerleader for the Cosmopolis Cougars and she will be missed by many in the community. The Cosmopolis School District includes just the elementary school, kindergarten through sixth grade. After that, most students go on to classes in the Aberdeen District.

The school let students out early Friday afternoon, and said in a post to social media, “Our hearts are breaking for the entire Cosmopolis community and everyone who was lucky enough to know or meet Cherie Patterson.” They said an emergency call was made to all families Thursday night, and a letter was sent home with students Friday.

“Mrs. Patterson was an unprecedented leader who was much loved by all our students, staff, school board, and families,” administrators said in the letter to students. “The past week has been a difficult one for our school, school board, and staff.”

The district said that teachers also spoke with their students after the morning announcements this week and explained that “Mrs. Patterson found out last week that she has cancer. It is very serious and we are all very sad.” The school offered extra school counselors and planned to keep them on-call for the next week to provide emotional support for students.

If you have special counseling concerns or would like additional resources to help talk with your child, please email or call the office at 360-532-7181.

Mrs. Patterson was on medical leave this month and had received news from her doctors that she would not be able to return to work in person. Earlier this month she requested that Ann Tracey act as interim-principal, under her guidance, for approximately four weeks.

A special meeting was called by the school board for Thursday evening to discuss future leadership of the school, more details are expected from administrators on that topic in the coming week.

“Our deepest sympathies go to Mrs. Patterson’s family and we ask you to respect their privacy at this time,” said Interim-Principal Ann Tracey in the school’s latest statement. “We know that this loss will be felt by the entire community of Cosmopolis. We care deeply for all involved and that includes you, your student, and your family.”