Thursday, October 18, 2007

Tragic Day

Greece mourns loss of teacher
Victoria E. FreileStaff writer October 18, 2007 9:31 am —

Members of the Greece school community today are mourning the death of a Greece Central School District health teacher.Brian Harris, 31, of Hamlin died yesterday afternoon after his pickup truck collided with the bridge that carries East Manitou Road over Lake Ontario State Parkway, according to Greece Police Sgt. Jason Helfer.
Harris was driving west on Lake Ontario State Parkway in a 1998 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck at the time of the crash. Witnesses say no other vehicles were involved in the accident.
The parkway was closed to westbound traffic for several hours after the crash.
District spokeswoman Laurel Heiden today said Harris was a full-time health teacher who worked at three schools — Greece Arcadia High School, Odyssey Academy and Greece Athena High School. He reportedly worked at Arcadia full-time last year and recently served as an advisor for the school’s student council.
Harris, who worked for the district for seven years, was remembered by his colleagues as a “kind, family-oriented man,” Heiden said.
Nick Ruffle, a 2007 Greece Arcadia graduate, this morning stopped by the scene of the crash this morning to see for himself that the tragedy was a reality.“It’s hard to comprehend,” said Ruffle, now a student at Monroe Community College. “He was everybody’s friend. He was here yesterday and isn’t today.”Ruffle said he studied health with Harris as a sophomore at Arcadia and was a member of the school’s student council during his junior and senior years. As a result Ruffle said he came to know Harris well and stopped in to see him several times every week. Since graduation, the two chatted via e-mail regularly and Ruffle said he often sought out Harris for advice.“He’s the best friend you never met,” Ruffle said. “Even if you didn’t know him, he was there for you.”According to a message posted today on Arcadia High School’s Web Site, Harris “was an energetic teacher, a loyal friend, a solid shoulder and an attentive listener.”
Harris, an avid sports fan, was also “a loving husband, a devoted father, a teacher who cared about his students and had no trouble discussing the tough issues in his classroom and beyond.”

Rest in peace Brian. You will be missed by all who have been fortunate enough to know you. Meagan and Maura will forever be in my prayers.

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