Colleen Ritzer, the slain Danvers High School teacher, was remembered by family and students as “brilliant, inspirational and passionate” about her job.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, 14 year old Phillip Chism has been charged with her murder. He is being held without bail in Salem District Court as of yesterday afternoon.
The family of Colleen Ritzer released a statement Wednesday afternoon asking for privacy.
“At this time we are mourning the tragic death of our amazing, beautiful daughter and sister, everyone that knew and loved Colleen knew of her passion for teaching and how she mentored each and every one of her students.”
Danvers High School released a statement on the killing:
“Colleen Ritzer was a dynamic and brilliant ray of light, she was everything one could ask for in a teacher — dedicated, passionate and invested in her students. Our entire community will feel this loss for many years to come.”
One of Colleen Ritzer’s students, Riley Doyle told reporters:
“She was always really upbeat and positive and excited about math. She made every lesson like you wanted to learn it, for the first time, math became one of my favorite classes.”
Riley also said almost all of Colleen Ritzer’s students thought highly of her: “She was always very courteous to her students, and she would never talk down to them, she treated them like people.” Although she didn’t have Colleen Ritzer as a teacher, Riley’s older sister, Regan Doyle says she “never heard one bad thing about her.” Regan said Ritzer’s death came as a shock to the school:
“It’s just a tragedy, and it’s so bad because she’s so young, and you could tell that she really loved her job and the kids, and it’s sad that this had to happen.”
Colleen Ritzer’s social media accounts give insight into the bright light that was snuffed out in a senseless murder:
“Sunday note: Home Alone is the best holiday movie ever made”
“I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’
“Always thinking of the innocent victims of 9/11 and the loved ones left behind who live in their light every day.”
“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”
“No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.”
“Full school week ahead. That can only mean one thing: lots of math fun”
Her Twitter account was often used to provide support and encouragement to her students. An e-mail from Salem State University calls attention to her planned career goals which will now, sadly, go forever unfulfilled:
“As a dedicated teacher, Colleen wanted to work with and help children with special needs, she believed children have much to offer and often do not realize how special they are as individuals.”
Oddly enough, Colleen Ritzer was the second math teacher killed in two days. The day before her murder, another teacher was shot in Nevada. Mike Landsberry a 45 year old math teacher, died a hero. He gave his life to protect his students in a school shooting by a 12 year old boy whose name has not been released. The student in that case then turned the gun on himself. It’s thought that thanks to his intervention, students were saved because he gave the children time to escape the shooter.
What do you think of the tragic death of Colleen Ritzer?