A school shooting incident in St. Louis, Missouri has left three people, including the suspect, Orlando Harris dead. Among Harris’ victims was 61-year-old Jean Kuczka, a teacher at the Central Visual and Performing Arts High School, who, according to some eyewitnesses, died while trying to save her students. Another victim of the incident was 15-year-old Alexandria Bell.
Who was Jean Kuczka?
Jean Kuczka was a teacher at the St. Louis school where Orlando Harris, a former student, carried out his rampage. According to CNN, who spoke to her daughter, Kuczka was about to retire after a long teaching career when the incident took place.
She was a teacher at the Central VPA High School from 2008. She graduated from Lindbergh High School and later enrolled in the Southwest Missouri State University for her higher studies. Kuckzka was a noted field hockey player during her school and college days. She held an undergraduate degree in education.
Kuczka began her professional career at Seven Holy Founders in Affton, Missouri. Although she started as a physical education teacher, she soon moved on to teach health. At VPA High School, Kuczka was teaching health, personal finance, and physical education.
The deceased middle school teacher lived with her husband and one of her five children. She was an avid bike rider who also enjoyed spending time with her grandkids.
Kristie Faulstich, one of Kuczka’s colleagues, said about her death, “One student looked at me and she said, ‘They shot Ms. Kuczka.’ And then she said that Ms. Kuczka had put herself between the gunman and the students”.
Alexis Allen-Brown, a former student of the deceased veteran teacher, said, “When I found out, the first thing I could think about was … that’s how much she cared about the students,” further adding, “She was going to save those babies.”