The school community is reflecting on the fatal accident on Saturday 4th November involving Jonni Wills; father to Jed and Kas, husband to Chantelle, friend and vital member of our school community; most recently it was Jonni’s call to form a “task team” when the school faced potential closure in June.
Many in our school community have known Jonni much longer than I have; for someone who has only had the pleasure of getting to know in the last few years I carry a deep sense of personal loss. Jonni had such impact on my life; from the moment he raised his hand to ask an incisive question at our first parent-carers gathering, to his most recent comments on his children’s progress, I knew Jonni as a father like no other, a breath of fresh air.
In the last 6 months he took that fatherly role to another level, on behalf of all our children, putting everything on hold to secure a new home for our school: the school that “lives inside of us” he said. From that first week of cold calling (phone glued to ear, pacing – coffee in hand, swinging those keys, his disarming laugh, and ever-expanding spreadsheet), to the bi-weekly task team meetings that followed, Jonni pursued every possible location relentlessly and explored all angles in many hope-full meetings with several landowners.
When we do eventually find our new home, it will be bittersweet; knowing that we do not get to celebrate that moment together – which is what we’d agreed – but well aware of the role Jonni and the Wills family played in this period of our school’s journey; what Jonni typically referred to as “an adventure”.
As friends and integral members of our school community, we will be discerning ways to keep the Wills family ‘close’ in the weeks, months and years ahead. For now, we can do something simple but practical, like signing up to prepare a meal using the following link: https://takethemameal.com/SEBS4306
Yours, in sorrow and celebration