Teachers, administrators, parents and students at Badger Middle School in West Bend are offering up a moment of silence today in memory of Matt Heinen, a former school counselor who was killed in a two-vehicle accident Thursday morning in Fond du Lac.
Heinen was a counselor in West Bend from August 2009 – June 2012. He left the district to take a position at Oostburg Elementary so he could be closer to his home.
Heinen was initially hired in West Bend when the district added a third school counselor; he served as the AVID coordinator in a combined position.
He was currently working as a guidance counselor at Fond du Lac High School.
Former coworker Angie Borst said counselors will gather this morning to remember Heinen. “We all liked him very much,” Borst said. “He cared about students and was always willing to collaborate as a team and help others.”
Kathleen Erickson praised Heinen for being a “true spirit” and a “role model” for the many lives of students and staff.
Thomas King worked with Heinen as a middle school counselor in West Bend. “Enjoyed working with Matt. He was very student focused and caring,” said King.
“He was great with the middle school kids. We worked together as part of the middle school AVID team, a program to help high-ability kids learn to work up to their potential. I appreciated his energy and enthusiasm. He was always upbeat and ready to go,” King said.
Nicole Minor posted on WashingtonCountyInsider.com, “Absolutely devastating! Such an admirable human being, my thoughts and prayers to his family. Worked with him at Badger and we are just heartbroken.”
Authorities said Heinen, 35, was west bound on State Highway 23 just before 7:30 a.m. when he apparently lost control of his vehicle and slid into the eastbound lane causing an accident. Heinen’s car was hit broadside by an SUV.
Heinen was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle, a 37-year-old Mt. Calvary man, was taken to St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac with non-life threatening injuries.
Fond du Lac County Sheriff’s Sergeant Paul Rottscholl said weather conditions may have been a factor. Deputies arriving on scene reported low visibility due to heavy snow and fog and road conditions were slippery.
Funeral services for Matt Heinen are pending.