Original story, Aug. 29: Britt Badgley Alamo, a Longfellow Middle School teacher with deep roots in Berkeley, died Friday unexpectedly in her sleep. She was 40 years old.
A passionate advocate of public education and a champion for her students, Alamo was active in the teachers’ union and “was beloved of many kids and BUSD colleagues,” one local parent told Berkeleyside. The sudden loss has left many people reeling.
“Everyone’s in shock,” said another community member. “She is BUSD through and through.”
An obituary from the family and fundraiser information are forthcoming.
Alamo and her brother, Jason, graduated from Berkeley High School. Their mother taught in the Berkeley Unified School District for 40 years. Alamo is survived by her husband, Steve, and 7-year-old daughter, Elsa Amelie, who is a Berkeley schools student.
“I’m heartbroken for Ms. Alamo’s family,” said another local parent. “None of us ever imagine leaving our children at such a young age.”
The Alameda County coroner’s office has declined to take the case, according to Alamo’s family, so the cause of death is currently unknown.
The Berkeley Unified School District released the following statement Monday: “We are deeply grieving the loss of a vital member of our community, our colleague, Britt Badgley Alamo. Britt not only taught for nine years at Longfellow Middle School, she had deep roots in this community, and was a proud graduate of Berkeley High School. She touched so many people across the district with her personal, family and professional connections.”
Added Longfellow Principal Marcos Garcia: “Longfellow is committed to continuing her legacy of social justice and excellence to the community she served.”
The district is “providing counseling support to students and staff who are coping with this sudden loss just as school opens, and we extend our profound sympathies to Britt’s family and friends,” according to the BUSD statement.
Classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Just last week, Alamo helped lead BUSD’s new teacher orientation along with Berkeley Federation of Teachers President Cathy Campbell.
“Britt was deeply committed to the teaching profession, to encouraging young teachers and to Union work. She was a strong and passionate advocate for public education, and for her students and colleagues,” Campbell told Berkeleyside. “She will be greatly missed.”
According to her Facebook page, last week Alamo also attended an Oakland Athletics game — she was an avid fan — and went camping with her family in Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Marin County.
Many condolences and remembrances have been posted online, on Alamo’s Facebook page and on Berkeleyside.
Said her brother, Jason Badgley: “This is a really hard time and we appreciate the outpouring all around.”
Update, Aug. 30: Longfellow Elementary put out the following notice by email shortly before 9 p.m. Monday. It appears below in full.
Dear Longfellow Families,
It is with deep sorrow that I have to share with you the loss of our teacher Britt Badgley Alamo, who passed away suddenly on Friday morning. Britt was a dynamic member of our community, having taught here at Longfellow Middle School for nine years. She was a Berkeley High alum, and had many friends and relations across the district. We are all shaken and grieving this great loss.
This morning counseling services were available for staff at Longfellow, and we will have counseling services available for students at Longfellow when school opens on Tuesday, and also at Berkeley High, as many of Ms. Alamo’s former students now attend BHS.
We know that many of you will want to reach out, and when the family is ready for direct support or contact we will let you know. We do not have information right now about memorial services, or about forms of support Britt’s family might need, but will share that as appropriate when her family chooses to do so.
Please do not hesitate to let us know if your child or you need additional assistance in coping with this loss. I have attached a short guide to talking about death and loss that could also assist you in sharing this news with your child.
Principal, Longfellow Middle School
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