Cedar Shoals teacher dies in accident at his home


CSHS teacher Joshua Sampson

By Joe Johnson

A Cedar Shoals High School educator died in an accident at his home on Sunday.

School staff was notified about Joshua Sampson’s death in a meeting before the start of school Monday and students were told later that morning.

The school did not disclose the nature of the accident

Families were notified of the teacher’s death in the following email from by CSHS Principal Antonio Derricotte:

Dear Cedar Shoals High Families:

I am writing to share some very sad news with our Jaguar family. Last night, we learned that one of our beloved teachers, Joshua Sampson, passed away from injuries sustained in a tragic accident at his home.

Josh was a valued part of our staff and community as both a 1991 graduate of Cedar Shoals and a longtime staff member. He worked at CSHS for over 17 years as both an English teacher and in his most current assignment as the master scheduler. In 2016, Josh was selected as the school’s Teacher of the Year.


  • In his 2016-17 Teacher of the Year interview, he explained to the Athens Banner-Herald the satisfaction he receives from his chosen profession. “I like being around the kids. In every class I’ve ever had and all I foresee, there’s a mixture of students who don’t want to be there, who are ‘all right’ with the situation, and those who are hungry for knowledge. Finding out what all those middle students want to know, convincing them to hunger for information is a good feeling, but taking the kid who does not want to be there at all and convincing him to just be cool with things is an even greater reward.”

The above quote captures who Mr. Sampson was as an educator and person. He was passionate about his work with students and worked diligently to ensure that they learned. This is a great loss for all of us. We have additional counselors and district staff at the school to provide assistance to students and staff during this difficult time.

Our deepest condolences go out to Josh’s wife, Stacy, son, Henry, and other members of the Sampson family. Please keep them in your thoughts during this most difficult time.

Antonio Derricotte, Principal

Cedar Shoals High School

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