Cassidy Giroux, a 15-year-old girl found dead near Frame Lake on Tuesday after being reported missing a day earlier, is being remembered as a dedicated student and a friend to many as tributes and condolences continue to pour in.
“She was a very bright young lady with a lot of potential,” Todd Stewart, principal at St. Patrick High School, told Yellowknifer Wednesday.
Giroux was in Grade 10 at the school.
Her body was found near the McMahon Frame Lake Trail, between Matonabee Street and Albatross Court, just after 9 a.m. Tuesday, marking a tragic end to an air and ground search launched the day before.
Foul play is not suspected in Giroux’s death at this time, according to Yellowknife RCMP.
Stewart said Giroux will be remembered for her tenacity – she was a “dedicated” and “hardworking” student – but most of all, for her friendliness.
“She was just a real ray of sunshine,” said Stewart.
“Everyone who met her thought the world of her – staff and students,” he added.
Claudia Parker, superintendent of Yellowknife Catholic Schools, told Yellowknifer she didn’t “have the pleasure of meeting (Giroux), but knew she was a “very personable girl.”
“She was new to our school this year,” said Parker.
Despite being new to St. Patrick High School, Stewart said Giroux very “quickly developed friendships and such a strong peer group.”
Stewart said the school is planning a celebration of life, to be held sometime next week, for Giroux, once her family has made arrangements for their own service.
Parker said she hopes the planned celebration of life will help to “provide closure for students.”
In the meantime, St. Patrick High School has set up a quiet room where students can go if they need to leave class, and counsellors from all three schools within the Yellowknife Catholic school board system are on hand to provide support to students grappling with the loss of their peer.
According to Stewart, the NWT Health and Social Services has been “great,” offering same-day counselling appointments to students in need.
Online, friends and family remembered Giroux as kind – “the greatest friend,” one Facebook user wrote.
“My heart aches knowing you are no longer with us,” wrote another.
NWT Coroner Services are continuing to investigate Giroux’s death, and a postmortem examination has been ordered.
Police stated Tuesday they do not believe “criminality” played a role in her death.
-With files from Meaghan Richens