Former GBHS drama and guitar teacher passes away

Former+GBHS+drama+and+guitar+teacher+passes+away

Former GBHS drama and guitar teacher Jim Prichard, above, had been enjoying traveling and other activities since his retirement in 2012. Prichard died of an apparent heart attack April 18 while working on his family property near Ukiah. Photo credit/FACEBOOK 

On Saturday, April 18, 2015, Jim Prichard, former Granite Bay High School drama teacher and guitar teacher, died while working on his family’s property near Ukiah, possibly of a heart attack. He was 63.

He is survived by his two sons, John and Robert, and his wife, Rita Prichard.

Mr. Prichard retired from GBHS in 2012. He had taught at GBHS since 1999 after spending more than 20 years as a drama teacher at Galt High School. During his time at GBHS, he left a profound impact on the Granite Bay community.

His wife Rita Prichard, retired GBHS speech and debate coach and English teacher, and his son Robert Prichard, the current GBHS speech and debate coach and an English teacher, were in Murrieta, Calif. with the GBHS speech and debate team at a state tournament when they received the news about their husband and father’s death.

Senior Vinny Somanchi, co-captain of the Speech and Debate team, remembers Mr. Prichard as a person who was “genuinely happy.”

Mr. Jim Prichard had a great influence on students all across GBHS, from the speech and debate students to the students involved in the drama program.

“I had the pleasure to meet Jim Prichard,” Somanchi said.  “He was around our team a lot during debate tournaments.  He was always super supportive and kind, like his son and wife.”

The students competing at the state tournament were quite troubled by the news that something was amiss with Mr. Prichard.

“We started to debate in honor of Mr. Prichard,” Javier said.

Senior Sumana Kaluvai, co-captain of the speech and debate team, remembers exactly how Mr. Jim Prichard helped the speech and debate students.

“I met Mr. Prichard as a freshman when he came in to help students with their acting pieces,” Kaluvai said.  “He was a unique teacher because he always had innovative ideas and an absolutely amazing and positive attitude while working with students.  His theater perspective was often fresh and led students to explore their speeches in previously unimagined ways.”

Senior Micky Frank, a fourth-year drama student, always thought highly of Mr. Prichard’s positivity with his students.

“The thing I will remember most about him is his smile,” Frank said.  “I can picture him always being happy. I can only picture his smile.”

Frank said, had it not been for Mr. Prichard, she might not have continued participating in drama.

“He was the one that gave me that boost to keep going in drama,” Frank said.  “If he hadn’t told me that I had a chance in the drama department, I don’t think I would’ve continued doing drama.”

Frank remembers how much confidence he passed on to the drama students.

Senior Jude Battaglia was taught by Mr. Prichard in his drama class, and he has continued with drama ever since.

“I will remember Mr. Prichard’s passion,” Battaglia said.  “Not just (passion) for the thing he taught but how he taught it.”

Battaglia remembers Mr. Prichard as a truly dedicated teacher.

“You could tell he actually wanted to be there and (that) teaching his students was a happy part of his day,” Battaglia said.

While Mr. Prichard’s death is tragic for many, his love for teaching and constant positivity is being remembered.

“The entire Prichard family has played a huge role in the growth of GBHS and losing one of them is a huge loss for our community,” Somanchi said.  “He was an excellent teacher, kind individual, and overall great person.  He left his mark on many students here at the school.”

UPDATE: A visitation and viewing for Mr. Jim Prichard will be held from 4-8 p.m. Monday, April 27, at Lambert Funeral Home, 400 Douglas Blvd., in Roseville. A memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 28, also at Lambert Funeral Home. 

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