Community grieves loss of Palatka middle school teacher

Published On: Jan 21 2014 09:54:16 PM EST

Tyler West

PALATKA, Fla. -

The Jenkins Middle School community is grieving the loss of one of their beloved middle school teachers.

Tyler West, 36, died suddenly while running over the weekend.

"Tyler, you will never know the influence you have made on me. These kids loved you, rest in peace my brother. You'll never be forgotten in the eagle's nest," Principal Rick Cerrency at Jenkins Middle School read from a letter to West from one of the teachers at school.

"Our teachers loved him. He was just someone who was very personable," said Cerrency. "He's a hometown boy. Some of our teachers taught him years ago, so that especially hit a lot of our teachers pretty hard."

"We have a difficult time finding men who want to teach in schools and it's so wonderful when we have someone of his caliber, and the kind of mentoring and teaching he did for our students was really very special. The children loved him," said Superintendent Phyllis Criswell.

Channel 4 was told that West went jogging Sunday when he collapsed and efforts to revive him were not successful.

Students return to school Wednesday. Criswell said the school will have grief counselors on standby to help them deal with the emotional shock of West's death.

The school district also plans on having counselors at Palatka High School, where West coached football.

"He's touched a lot of lives in his short 36 years and it's something that is very hard to understand, but together we'll work through it and we'll make sure that all that he did for everybody while he was here," said Criswell. "All the students that have benefited from him will continue to appreciate what they've learned from him and be able to value that."

Comments

The views expressed below are not those of News4Jax or its affiliated companies. By clicking on "Post," you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and your comment is in compliance with such terms. Readers, please help keep this discussion respectful and on topic by flagging comments that are offensive or inappropriate (hover over the commenter's name and you'll see the flag option appear on right side of that line). And remember, respect goes both ways: Tolerance of others' opinions is important in a free discourse. If you're easily offended by strong opinions, you might skip reading comments entirely.

blog comments powered by Disqus