Students and staff at Stephen Decatur Middle School and Worcester County Public Schools are mourning the loss of one of their own.
Late Wednesday, news began circulating that Peter Mundrick, the school’s band, orchestra, general music and tech ed teacher, had passed away.
“Today, we mourn an incredible loss in our school community,” Principal, Lynne Barton said in an emailed statement Thursday morning. “The unexpected passing of Peter “Pete” Mundrick has devastated us all. Mr. Mundrick has been a guiding light for our band program, and he has left a lasting imprint on so many students both currently in our school and those who have carried his lessons along with them as they progressed into their futures.”
Mundrick began his career at SDMS in 1998, shortly after the current school opened. He graduated from West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania, with a bachelor of science in music education, a major in saxophone, and minors in bassoon, voice and piano. He lived in Wicomico County at the time of his death.
In 2015, he was nominated for Worcester County Teacher of the Year. According to his profile submitted at the time, he was passionate about creating a classroom atmosphere where students felt safe exploring musical talents.
Barton added that the students and staff at the school will feel the impact of Mundrick’s loss for a long time.
“Our main focus right now is to help our students and staff cope with this loss, assisting his family in any way we are able, and remembering Mr. Mundrick as our band director and educator, who was well-loved for his dedication to his students — both past and present — at Stephen Decatur Middle School,” she said.
Superintendent Lou Taylor also paid his respects to Mundrick in an emailed statement Thursday.
"We are all deeply saddened by the passing of Stephen Decatur Middle School's (SDMS) teacher and band director Peter Mundrick,” he said. “It's always painful when we experience a loss in our school system community, and we will support Mr. Mundrick's family and the students and staff at SDMS however we are able through this time of mourning.”