Seaview, Wash. - Ilwaco High School junior Jennifer Bergeson, 16, died at her home Wednesday.

A family friend discovered her body at about 4:45 p.m. Pacific County Sheriff's deputies investigated the death, which the Pacific County Coroner's Office has ruled a suicide.

Bergeson will be remembered for her involvement in volleyball, softball and choir. She also was involved in wrestling in early years at the high school, Ilwaco High School Principal Lisa Nelson said today.

"In my dealings with her, she was always nice and respectful," Nelson said. "She rose to the occasion. She was well mannered and polite and we're going to miss her."

Nelson said everyone knew Bergeson at the high school, which has fewer than 600 students in seventh through 12th grades. People have a tendency to "second guess" themselves after a suicide and think, "If I said 'hi' to her in the hall, maybe it would have been different."

But Nelson said the school provides counselors in the library to help students and staff cope with their feelings of grief.

"It's not like it's just the kids that are affected by this - it's everybody," Nelson said. "Anytime there's a situation like this, you're never ready mentally."

Nelson said officials usually offer the school for a memorial service, but she said she will be discussing plans with Bergeson's family.

Ilwaco hosted a memorial service for a IHS graduate Julie Brown, 19, of Seaview, who committed suicide at her home Sept. 12.

An October speaker at the high school discussed kinds of depression and how to deal with it, Nelson said.

"Everyone's going to feel a little depressed at one point, and that's typical," Nelson said. "The students were probably the most attentive that I've seen them in any assembly."


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