We are shocked and saddened by the death of J.J. Branchedor that occurred late Friday afternoon at New Smyrna Beach, Florida. J.J. was on a school outing with Forest Lake Academy, our Seventh-day Adventist high school located in Apopka. He was a student of the Distance Learning Academy through Walker Memorial Academy in Avon Park.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the parents of J.J., the student body, and faculty at each of these schools, as well as our extended church family. We are all devastated right now, but we take courage in the hope and assurance of a soon coming Saviour.
Counselors have been on hand to counsel our students and will continue to be available to be with our student body as needed.
We want to thank all of those who were involved in the search and rescue operation.
The safety and welfare of our students is our highest priority, and we take seriously our responsibility to protect them every day.
Arne Nielsen, Florida Conference Vice President for Integrated Youth Ministries, is the spokesperson for the school and the Conference pertaining to this tragedy. Send e-mail to Arne with any questions or information.