Communities mourn loss of popular teacher


By Marianne Curtis

The Hanover School Division is among many who are in mourning following a tragic accident west of Kenora.

On July 8, 30 year-old Niverville teacher Dana Dueck died when her motorcycle collided with a truck.  Ontario Provincial Police say the motorcycle she was riding crossed the centre line and struck an oncoming pick-up truck.

Dueck, who was born and raised in Landmark is the daughter of Dennis and Wilma Keating, owner of Keating Mechanical in Landmark. She is survived by her husband Kris.

Dana who had just celebrated her 30th birthday was camping in FalconLake when she and her father took a spin on her new birthday present.

“On her way to go mini golfing with some of the family, she looked back at us and said “Who says a girl can’t have everything?” And off she went,” recalled her mother in a statement.  Tragedy struck on the way back to FalconLake.

Hanover school superintendent Ken Klassen says Dueck was a grade 6-8 teacher in Niverville and was a big part of the school.

“It’s a huge loss for all of us and our hearts go out to the family and to the staff and students.”

Klassen adds, even though it’s summer vacation, Hanover School Division provided grief counselling services to students.

“We definitely want to be able to support both students and staff that are grieving,” added the former Landmark Collegiate principal. “She was one of my students so it’s very close to home.”

Over a thousand mourners attended her funeral which took place at SouthlandsChurch in Steinbach. She was remembered as being very involved in everything from sports, band, drama, choir in school.

After graduating with honours from Landmark Collegiate she went to the University of Manitoba and got her degree in Physical Education. Her first job with Hanover School Division was at Steinbach Junior High and after three years she landed her dream job at the Niverville Collegiate as full time gym teacher for the junior high students.

Students are expressing their grief through a Facebook page was created for anyone who knew her to join and share their memories.

One student posted “so many lives being taken away recently. Constant reality check reminds us of what we have, and how we should treasure it while we have it. R.I.P. Mrs. Dueck. I didn’t know you too well, but you put up with our shenanigans like no other teacher would. My heart goes out to the friends and family.”

This is the second tragic loss of a teacher from the Niverville Collegiate in the past year. Last May, 32 year old Ryan Letkeman was killed when the motorcycle he was driving was struck by a car who failed to stop at a stop sign.

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