It's hard to believe, but it's been a year since one of my first students, and certainly one of my favorites, lost his life in a drowning accident. Philipp was a fantastic kid, and there are a lot of us who miss him terribly. This past week I've been thinking a lot about Philipp, as the anniversary of his death was coming up, and many of my memories of him are so silly and fun to reflect on.
Like I said last year, as teachers, we borrow other people's children for a while and often times can't keep from falling in love with them.
It has been a difficult year for the students in our middle school and the high school it feeds into - we have lost nine students this year. Philipp and Vince were the first, then Michael, a 6th grader, died of a previously undiagnosed heart ailment. Richard, an 8th grader, was hit by a car and killed the week before school started. Tomas, who graduated from High School with Mrs. Eagle's daughter, was murdered. Another high school student, Daniel, was killed in a street-racing accident, and several weeks later, three other high school students were killed in a car accident after a baseball game.
It's been tough. Many of our students have learned some life lessons at an age where they should be enjoying being young. I'm proud of how well many of them have handled their grief and sorrow and how they channeled it into doing good.
My roses are blooming, finally, and I think I'll get some gathered together and pay a visit to Philipp this weekend...I'm sure he knows how much he made my first year at The School one to remember, and how much I enjoyed having him in my life.