Wilton Community Shocked About Music Teacher's Death

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Sadness was the mood at Cider Mill School on Monday as staff and students learned about the death of music teacher Svetlana Bell. Photo Credit: Melvin Mason

WILTON, Conn.  – Cider Mill School music teacher Svetlana Bell was remembered in Wilton on Monday for being a kind and helpful teacher.

Wilton residents were shocked as they heard about Bell’s death on Saturday at her home in New Fairfield. State Police have charged her husband Robert Bell, 63, with first-degree manslaughter with a firearm and disorderly conduct in connection with the death of Svetlana Bell, 47, who taught strings in Wilton since 2006.

Wilton parent Denise Kedzierski said she was stunned when she heard the news.

“It’s very said,” she said. “She was a wonderful teacher.”

Kedzierski’s daughter Claire, a fourth grader at Cider Mill who took a strings class with Bell last year, said people in the school had tears in their eyes talking about her on Monday.

“She was a really well-liked teacher,” said Claire, noting that Bell would always try to help a student along.

Wilton Schools Superintendent Gary Richards said it was a difficult day in the district. Crisis counselors were on hand Monday at Cider Mill to talk with teachers and students. 

“It was a tragic loss,” Richards said. “Mrs. Bell…was a very capable, committed teacher and we are deeply saddened and we think about her family and colleagues who lost a special person.” 

Richards said the staff will talk about what the district can do for Bell’s family, but said it is “a very challenging situation.”

Bell, who emigrated from Russia, also played violin with the Danbury Symphony Orchestra. Nancy Sudik, executive director of the Danbury Music Centre, knew Bell for about 20 years and the two played together in the orchestra.

“She was very much loved and respected and will be greatly missed by everyone,” Sudik Said. “She was a very nice person and everyone liked her and she was a great addition to the orchestra.”

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