Sad news

A Message from Superintendent Greg Baker

Dear Sunnyland families,

I am sorry to share news of a tragedy within our Bellingham Public Schools family. We have learned that Sunnyland Principal Lynn Heimsoth was found dead at her home this morning.

We are heartbroken by this news. Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office deputies are actively investigating the incident. They have informed us that the public is not in any danger and a suspect has been taken into custody.  Her therapy dog Sukha, who was always by Lynn’s side, was also killed.

Her death is a profound loss to our Sunnyland community, our school district and to our extended community. Lynn was a passionate, equity-driven instructional leader. She loved kids to the core and always kept students’ needs at the center of her work. She had been principal at Sunnyland since fall 2017. Prior to coming to Sunnyland, she was the principal of Shoultes Elementary in Marysville and worked for Bremerton, North Kitsap and South Kitsap school districts as an elementary teacher and instructional leader.

Members of our district’s counseling and support team will be available for students at Sunnyland Elementary on Monday, Jan. 6 when we return after winter break.

You may access the following resources if you choose to talk with your children about this tragedy:

Helping Your Child Deal with Deaths

Tips for Supporting Grieving Children

Resources for Families

If you would like to talk with someone, you can contact Sunnyland Dean Amy Berreth or Executive Director Kristi Dominguez and Director Trina Hall, who are with the Department of Teaching and Learning and members of our mobile response team. They can offer resources if needed.

Our thoughts and support are with Lynn’s family and friends during this very hard time, as well as our Sunnyland families and all colleagues affected. No details are available at this time about potential memorial services.

We will deeply miss her.


Greg Baker