September will be a hard month for the Sooke School District as it mourns the loss of a valued member of its team.
Muriel May Crompton died earlier this month after a bicycle crash in Victoria.
Known as May, Crompton was a teacher librarian at Dunsmuir Middle School in Colwood. She’d been with the school for more than a decade.
“May was a particularly hard working teacher,” said Sooke School District superintendent Jim Cambridge.
“You would find her there on the weekends,” he recalled, adding when the school was undergoing its seismic upgrades she worked tirelessly to make sure students had access to books. “She was a very dedicated educator.”
Dunsmuir principal Darren Russell added “May touched the lives of everyone in the school, she was always there to help … She was very involved in the Dunsmuir community and committed to her job.”
With the seismic upgrades, Russell said she worked the better part of the last two summers to move the library during renovations and have it ready for students. “She single-handedly did that … I think we can say that library was her home.”
Crompton’s daughter, Astra, said “my earliest memories are of her restoring old books. As a kid, we would each try to finish the next Harry Potter book first. Now, as an author, I’ll keep her legacy alive with our shared passion for the written word.”
But Crompton didn’t just love books and her family. “She volunteered at, I would say, every event Dunsmuir put on … She was that teacher that was at every concert,” Russell said.
And it wasn’t just events, she started numerous fundraisers selling items such as chocolates to raise money for new library materials. “She was at every PAC meeting,” he added.
Before working at Dunsmuir, Crompton also taught at Wishart Elementary in Colwood and Journey Middle School in Sooke.
She had been with the Sooke School District for at least 16 years.
“I know her passing greatly impacted the staff,” Cambridge said. Past students have called to offer their condolences as well, he added.
“May was very popular with students and incredibly knowledgeable.” As an avid reader herself, he noted she always had suggestions for students. “I know she will be sorely missed.”
Cambridge said Crompton’s family is in the process of planning a celebration of life, which is expected to take place in early fall.
Crompton died as a result of injuries sustained in a bicycle crash.
On Aug. 1, Victoria police responded to a single vehicle crash at the Esquimalt and Harbour roads intersection involving a cyclist just before 6 p.m.
According to a police report, she had crashed while travelling at high speeds. Several people in the vicinity rushed to help and administered first aid until first responders arrived.
Members of Victoria’s Police Department’s collision reconstruction team were called to investigate. The crash is still under investigation.
Crompton was transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries and died nearly two weeks later on Aug. 13. She would have turned 56 on Aug. 23.