Richards: Schools 'Deeply Saddened' by Loss

Wilton School Superintendent Gary Richards spoke about the passing of Svetlana Bell and what it means for the school district.


Svetlana Bell lost her life Saturday night after her husband, Robert Bell, allegedly shot her three or four times in the chest during an altercation at their New Fairfield Home.

Svetlana, 47, had worked as a music teacher in Wilton schools since 2006, according to Dr. Gary Richards, superintendent.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of our Cider Mill music staff, Svetlana Bell," Richards wrote in an email to Patch. "She was a valued member of our professional staff and will be greatly missed. At this time our thoughts are with Svetlana's family."

Robert Bell, 63, has been charged with first-degree manslaughter in connection to his wife's death. He has alleged his wife was coming at him with a knife when he fired the rounds from his .38 caliber pistol. His bond was set at $750,000.

Students at Cider Mill were told the news of Bell's death by their teachers on Monday. Principal Virginia Rico sent out a transcript of what the teachers read to students, which is as follows:

We have some sad news to share. Saturday night Mrs. Bell, our strings teacher died in a tragic accident at home. She was a wonderful musician and was a valued member of our staff since 2006. We will miss her very much. This is all we know now. If you have questions about this, please speak to your parents. If you need to talk to someone during the day, you can go guidance and see one of our guidance professionals.

It remains to be seen who will end up picking up Bell's classes, but Richards said Rico and her leadership team "will be conducting a search" for her replacement.

Rico sent out an email Tuesday evening which said that Mariana Coelho, principal of New Fairfield High School, will be collecting cards for Bell's family. They can be sent to: 

Mariana Coelho
New Fairfield High School
54 Gillotti Road
New Fairfield, CT 06812


  • VIDEO: Robert Bell Arraigned in Fatal New Fairfield Shooting
  • Beyond the Headlines: Wilton Parents Struggle with News of a Teacher's Death
  • Principal: Counseling Available to Students Following Teacher's Death
  • Reports: Wilton Music Teacher Fatally Shot by Husband in New Fairfield
  • Details Emerge in Svetlana Bell Shooting


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