The Grizzly Growl

Those Who Go Unnoticed

How Faculty Deaths at Copper Hills Compare to Hillcrest

Riley Baxter, Staff Writer

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On the evening of Monday, August 28, the revered head football coach at Hillcrest High School died of the West Nile virus. While we offer our condolences for their loss, and join them in mourning the death of their beloved coach, one question is in the back of everybody’s mind: What if that was our coach?

Coaches are trusted and treasured for their leadership positions. They inspire the team, both on and off the field. They help the players, both with the game and with life. When a coach dies, it’s important for the team to be resilient. “We lost our coach two years ago, Coach Gunderson,” Principal Quarnberg stated solemnly. “Have we moved forward? Yes. Do we miss him? Yes.”

Coach Gunderson passed away at the beginning of the summer of 2016. With it being summer, the news of his passing trickled slowly to the grizzly nation.

Despite his important role, there was little fanfare at the beginning of the year to commemorate his service as the coach. Some students didn’t even know about his death.

But what if death happened among regular teachers who don’t take up coaching? “There’s not necessarily a protocol.” Quarnberg said. “I practice what I preach about moving forward. We would cover the position with subs. The rest of the faculty would rally to provide the curriculum to help the students move forward.”

The school would continue with business as usual, continuing to educate the students despite the loss. In a way, it helps students to mourn, working through the pain of loss of somebody they respect and have grown close to over the years.

“At Hillcrest they’re dealing with the death of a coach, but if a teacher were to pass away it would be the same.” Mr. Quarnberg was steadfast in his explanation. “Every teacher is high profile. Every teacher is service oriented. It would be highly impactful to a school.”

Teachers and coaches are a formidable force, but they can’t cheat death. They spend their adult lives educating and serving; students need to remember that death can take anyone, so please appreciate the ones who take their time to teach you.

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Those Who Go Unnoticed