Minneapolis' Hale School mourns unexpected death of principal

The school has announced the death of Ryan Fitzgerald.
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A Minneapolis elementary school community is mourning the sudden death of its principal on Tuesday.

The death of Ryan Fitzgerald was announced by Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Ed Graff on the Hale Elementary School website.

"I am deeply saddened to share with you that I received news today that our friend and colleague Principal Ryan Fitzgerald died unexpectedly early Tuesday," he said.

"Principal Fitzgerald was a thoughtful and caring leader and his sudden loss will be felt not just at Hale, but throughout the entire Hale/Field and MPS communities."

There was no information released regarding the circumstances of Fitzgerald's death.

A GoFundMe account has been created to raise money to help pay for his daughter Carah's college tuition. It has raised more than $11,000 in the space of a day.

"As somebody who dedicated his life to education, this is something Ryan would have wanted, and it's way you can help during this difficult time," the fundraiser says.

Students and staff will be able to speak with grief counselors as the school re-opens on Friday, having been closed for the week due to the snow and extreme cold.

Hale Elementary serves students from Kindergarten through 4th Grade. 

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The GoFundMe page is filled with comments from parents and colleagues paying tribute to the late principal.

"My daughter is a 2nd Grader at Hale and I asked her to share a favorite memory of Principle Fitzgerald," one commenter wrote. "She said one of her favorite things was how he would get on the intercom on Fridays and play music for a school wide dance party! His friendly and fun loving nature will be missed as much as his high fives."

"We will miss the high fives, smiles, encouragement and energy from Principal Fitzgerald," Michelle Karsten said. "What a tremendous loss for the school and community, not to mention for his family and friends."

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