Lion Pride Times

Lion Pride Times

Lion Pride Times

We Love You Mr.Yurk!

Rest in Peace, Franklin, Pepper, and Ruckus.

Ian Yurk has worked at Mountain View for 13 years and his name has become a staple to every student at Mountain View. Everyone knows that having Yurk is a privilege and an incredible experience. So it came as a shock to everyone that something so tragic would happen to such a lovely man.

Earlier this month, Yurk arrived home to find a fire had broken out in his living room. One of the dogs in the home chewed something that he wasn’t supposed to while lying on the dog bed, resulting in the bed, as well as a loveseat, combusting. The damage to the house was minimal and mostly smoke damage. The house may be standing but the loss was tragic nonetheless as three of the four dogs in the house passed. The loss is deep and felt by everyone.

“Two of the four dogs were Ashlee’s. We are grateful that the one that survived was hers. She grew up with lots of pets so she’s a little used to saying goodbye but it cut her to the bone… We’ve tried to offer as much support as we can,” said Yurk. Ashlee is Yurk’s stepdaughter who deserves just as many well wishes as Yurk himself. “[My wife and I] have had good cries together as we’ve reminisced and shared pictures and watched videos of the dogs. And there’s some silver linings like room to snuggle in the bed but at the same time you miss that too… She’s been missing them a lot… I think we’re both trying to hold it together for Ashlee’s sake also,” said Yurk.

It is important to remember that teachers are people too. “I’ve wrestled with how much I should share with the students because I’m sure some of them want to know more… it’s good for them to see that we’re human and we suffer just like everybody, we’re not above the trials of life.” Yurk is very gracious to share his personal life with his students and anyone who has had him knows how important his dogs were to him. His dogs were Ruckus and Pepper, a white mix and an English Mastiff. He loved Ashlee’s dogs deeply too, named Franklin and Benjamin. As does any normal human when they lose a beloved pet, Yurk said he is, “floating back and forth between denial and just trying to accept it and move on.”

One thing that is helping Yurk and his family survive such a rough time is the incredible depth of community support. Currently, he is staying at the home of someone in the family while his own home is being fixed. When asked how people could help him get through he said, “My wife started an Amazon registry so we’ve been getting mountains of packages, stuff for the dog, basic hygiene stuff, so that’s been a godsend. I’d say just smiles and kind words and hugs are welcome. It’s good to know that the community has your back and feels for what you’re going through.” Community truly is the backbone of getting through painful moments. Yurk and I took a moment to consider the “what if” situation of him not being a teacher with so many supporting peers and students. “It [not being a teacher with this community] would be a huge struggle. Like climbing a mountain without any gear. You wouldn’t have those relationships that would end up meaning so much. Like, I’ve had previous Mountain View kids reach out through social media asking how they can help.”

No matter your relationship with Mr. Yurk, treat him with kindness, give him grace, and remember to smile. He is going through terrible grief while maintaining his position as a teacher. So do whatever you can to make his life easier. Donate to the GoFundMe if you can and if you’re comfortable with it, a little hug won’t hurt.


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About the Contributor
Jamie Wilson
Jamie Wilson, Senior Reporter
Hi, My name is Jamie. I am a senior in the LISA program. My passion area is writing, so I love the opportunities journalism is giving me.

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