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Community mourns the death of Polo High School teacher

We lost 'a great role model'

Sarah Kamp
Sarah Kamp

POLO – The thunderstorm Sunday night was a pretty bad one. High winds blew down the stop sign at Rock City and Montague roads, on the Ogle-Stephenson County border.

Shortly before 7 a.m. Monday, someone let the Stephenson County Sheriff’s Department know the sign was gone.

Ten minutes later, Sarah Kamp, alone in her car, went through the intersection without stopping. She hit a car carrying two other women. They made it.

Sarah, a 32-year-old teacher at Polo High School, the mother of a toddler and pregnant with another child, did not.

She was flown to at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, where she was pronounced dead.

Polo High School staff and students Tuesday mourned the death of their language arts teacher, whose husband, Jason Kamp, also teaches at the school.

“The Polo High School and community lost a great role model on Monday,” Superintendent Chris Rademacher said in a news release Tuesday morning. “Mrs. Sarah Kamp was an outstanding teacher who touched many lives. The way she touched lives has been on display the last 2 days.

“She was also a friend and colleague to all the teachers she taught with,” Rademacher said. “Sarah truly touched the future with the way she taught. She will be dearly missed.”

School district officials called in grief counselors for staff members and students.

Kamp, of Byron, started teaching in 2004; at PHS, she taught English to sophomores and seniors. The current graduating class members had her as their language arts teacher for 3 of their 4 years. She also published the monthly school newsletter, and was the sophomore class sponsor and the National Honor Society sponsor.

Her husband teaches physics and chemistry. Their son, Nathan, is 21 months old.

“When she married Jason, she traded the C for a K, as her maiden name was Camp,” the release read.

Traffic on Rock City Road is not required to stop. Kamp, who was westbound on Montague, drove into the intersection without stopping and hit a white Saturn driven by Barbara Faulkner, 56, of Leaf River, who was northbound on Rock City Road.

Faulkner and her 19-year-old passenger, whose name was not released, were taken to Rockford Memorial Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, police said. All three women were wearing seat belts.

The crash is under investigation.

Officers with the Stephenson County Sheriff’s Department, assisting at the scene, found the weather-damaged stop sign. It has since been replaced.

Services for Sarah

Visitation for Sarah M. Kamp will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday at Farrell-Holland-Gale Funeral Home in Oregon. Her funeral is 11 a.m. Saturday at the funeral home.

Go to to send condolences or leave a memorial to the family.

Click here to read her obituary.

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