San Francisco elementary school principal dies after serious head injury during family camping trip

San Francisco Elementary School Principal Dies After Accidental Head Injury During Family Camping Vacation

  • Heath Caceres died last Thursday surrounded by his family after spending a week in intensive care at a Modesto hospital
  • Caceres was on a camping trip in mid-July when he suffered an “accidental” head injury, setting up a GoFundMe to help his family pay for expenses.
  • Authorities have not released details about the cause of the head injury
  • Caceres was principal of the New Traditions Elementary School in San Francisco for over a year
  • Caceres leaves behind his wife, Mariah, a fourth-grade teacher in San Rafael, and their four daughters

A San Francisco elementary school principal died last month after suffering a serious head injury while on a camping trip with his family.

Heath Caceres died last Thursday surrounded by family after spending a week in intensive care at a Modesto hospital.

Caceres, who was principal of the New Traditions Elementary School for more than a year, was traveling in mid-July when he accidentally suffered a head injury, a GoFundMe founded to help his family with the said expenses.

Caceres leaves behind his wife Mariah, (pictured) a fourth-grade teacher in San Rafael, and their four daughters

Heath Caceres died last Thursday surrounded by his family after spending a week in intensive care at a Modesto hospital

Heath Caceres died last Thursday surrounded by his family after spending a week in intensive care at a Modesto hospital

Heath pictured with his widow Mariah, a fourth-grade teacher at San Rafael Elementary School

Heath pictured with his widow Mariah, a fourth-grade teacher at San Rafael Elementary School

The page, which has raised more than $125,000 for the family, was started by Lucas Valley teacher Nicole Cunha, an associate of Heath’s widow, M.ariah, a fourth-grade teacher at San Rafael Elementary School.

“He spent more than a week in intensive care in Modesto,” Cunha wrote. “The family stayed close to the hospital to be with him every day, hours from home. Despite the immense work of the doctors and nurses, the endless love of his family and the support of his friends, Heath died on July 29 with his wife Mariah by his side.”

Authorities have not released details about the cause of the head injury.

Caceres leaves behind his wife and their four daughters, the fundraiser said.

The fundraiser, who called Heath “a hero to the end,” said the director was an organ donor.

The longtime teacher was previously principal of Park School in Mill Valley and Lafayette Elementary in San Francisco, de San Francisco Chronicle reported.

Caceres was principal of the New Traditions Elementary School in San Francisco for over a year

Caceres was principal of the New Traditions Elementary School in San Francisco for over a year

Caceres (pictured with one of his daughters) said he grew up in rural Marin County and was happy to be back in the area teaching

Caceres (pictured with one of his daughters) said he grew up in rural Marin County and was happy to be back in the area teaching

The school will provide ‘additional support’ to students when the school year begins next month after his death.

‘Mr. Caceres was an extremely important part of our community and we are deeply saddened by this loss,” officials from the San Francisco Unified School District said in an email to the New Traditions community.

“Death can be difficult for us to understand, especially if it is sudden,” the email added. “The most important thing is that we take care of each other and support each other.”

A parent of a New Traditions student remembered Caceres as a great leader during the pandemic.

“Last year we were honored with the smile and warm heart of Mr. Caceres as he took over as Director of New Traditions,” Angie Kim said of the fundraiser. “Throughout this extremely difficult time, Heath was always genuine, caring and enthusiastic – he quickly earned the respect and trust of even our preschoolers, who were always so happy and calm to see him. He was a true leader and our hearts go out to the entire Caceres family for their tremendous loss.”

In a September 2018 video for Park School, Caceres said he grew up in rural Marin County and was happy to be back in the area, the Chronicle reported.

“When I come back to Marin now, I love being in nature again,” he said. ‘I like to go to those mountains, to the creeks, to the coast.’

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