School Climate & Safety News in Brief

Shootings Claim Educators’ Lives

By Madeline Will — October 10, 2017 2 min read
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The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history occurred last week when a gunman opened fire at an outdoor country-music festival in Las Vegas, killing at least 58 people and injuring hundreds of others.

At least eight who died were educators or school-based personnel. Assistant Editor Madeline Will noted their passing on Education Week Teacher’s Teaching Now blog.

Jennifer Parks, 36, was a kindergarten teacher in Palmdale, Calif. She had taught at Anaverde Hills School for three years.

“The students who were instructed by her knew what it was to love learning as Jennifer gave them the sense of wonder, curiosity, and excitement about all they did,” the Westside Union district said.

Sandy Casey, 34, was a special education teacher at Manhattan Beach Middle School in California.

“She’s absolutely loved by students and colleagues alike and will be remembered for her sense of humor, her passion for her work, her devotion to her students, her commitment to continue her own learning and taking on whatever new projects came her way,” Manhattan Beach Superintendent Mike Matthews told ABC 7.

Kelsey Meadows, 28, was a substitute teacher in Taft, Calif., at the same high school she once attended.

“Kelsey was smart, compassionate, and kind,” Taft Union High School’s Principal Mary Alice Finn, said. “She had a sweet spirit and a love for children.”

Lisa Romero Muniz, 48, was a discipline secretary at a Gallup, N.M., high school.

The Washington Post interviewed a woman who said Romero “was always telling my granddaughter to stay out of trouble and get somewhere and do the right thing.”

Susan Smith, 53, was the office manager at Visa Fundamental Elementary School. She had worked for the Simi Valley, Calif., district for 16 years.

“She had a great sense of humor. She was very funny. She was great with the children and with the staff,” Jake Finch, the district’s spokeswoman, told The Post.

Bill Wolfe Jr., 42, was the head wrestling coach at an elementary school in Shippensburg, Pa. The father of two also coached Little League.

Tony Yaniello, who coaches varsity wrestling at Shippensburg High School, told The Post that Wolfe made sure kids had fun, but also taught discipline and the rules of the sport.

Tara Roe, 34, was an educational assistant in Alberta, Canada.

Loretta Hamilton, a neighbor of Roe’s parents, told Canada’s CBC News that Roe was passionate about her work in education.

Jessica Klymchuk, 34, was an educational assistant, librarian, and bus driver for a Roman Catholic school in Alberta.

Betty Turbin, the superintendent of the Holy Family Catholic Regional Division said in a statement: “The scope of this tragedy is worldwide, and we are feeling its impact here at home.”

Read more here.

A version of this article appeared in the October 11, 2017 edition of Education Week as Shootings Claim Educators’ Lives

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