jeffco schools

Drake teacher dies following investigation into 'inappropriate relationship' with student

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Arvada resident and Drake Middle School teacher Gretchen Krohnfeldt died May 9 — one day after an investigation into an inappropriate relationship between her and a student was launched, Jill McGranahan with the Arvada Police Department said.

On May 8, a Jefferson County Sheriff's Office school resource officer "was made aware of a possible inappropriate relationship between a female employee at Drake Middle School and a male student,” according to a statement released Wednesday by the Arvada Police Department. “The allegations were that the relationship began when the student attended Drake Middle School. The student is now in high school in Arvada.”

The school's principal, Rod Pugnetti, immediately reported the situation to law enforcement and school district personnel, according to a May 10 statement from Jeffco Public Schools.

"The teacher was immediately placed on administrative leave," the school district statement said. "We were informed that on Tuesday, May 9, the teacher passed away."

Jon Cline of the Jefferson County coroner's office confirmed the teacher who died May 9 was Krohnfeldt. He said Wednesday that Krohnfeldt’s manner of death has not yet been determined.

Arvada Police Department and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office are working jointly on the investigation.

The Drake Middle School website listed Krohnfeldt as a language arts teacher. She grew up in Arvada and has three children, according to her teacher page on Drake Middle School's website, which was removed the afternoon of May 10. Diana Wilson, communications officer for Jeffco Schools said Pugnetti made the decision to remove  Krohnfeldt’s teacher page because it displayed personal family information including a photograph of her children.

"We will continue to investigate this matter and coordinate our efforts with law enforcement," the school district statement continued. "This investigation is in its infancy and the known facts are very limited. Our main focus is supporting our staff and students that have been deeply impacted by this tragedy.”

School counselors were at Drake Wednesday to help students deal with the loss, district spokeswoman Diana Wilson said.

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