MIAMISBURG, Ohio (WDTN) – For Miamisburg City Schools, a heartbreaking week after two middle school employees died in the last week. As the community mourns their death, people are coming together to honor their memory.
Following the death of longtime Miamisburg varsity baseball coach and middle school teacher Steve Kurtz earlier this week, Miamisburg City Schools Superintendent Dr. Laura Blessing tweeted Friday morning that the school had lost yet another employee at the middle school Lori Flory.
“We’re sad. We’re grieving, and we respect everyone’s support and understanding,” said Dr. Blessing.
Dr. Blessing says Flory served as a nutrition service employee at the middle school for 14 years, and was known for her kindness and cooking. “A lot of her coworkers said she made the best fudge, loved to make sweets. So, definitely Lori’s presence in the middle school and definitely the cafeteria will be missed.”
Due to the 2 employee deaths, Dr. Blessing and other school district leaders made the decision to close the middle school on Friday, to allow people to mourn.
Also devastated by the news of Coach Kurtz and Flory’s deaths is Miamisburg Mayor Michelle Collins. “When I heard about Coach Kurtz it was heartbreaking, not only as a mayor but I know Coach Kurtz,” said Mayor Collins.
Though Mayor Collins says she didn’t know Flory on a personal level, she says the entire community is feeling both losses. “They’re our neighbors. They’re our friends. They mentor the children of this community,” said Collins.
A former student of Kurtz, Lauryn Wolfe recalls her reaction to the news of his death. “A state of disbelief. I think the first thing after the initial shock was just that he was so young. It felt impossible like it was the wrong person,” said Wolfe.
Now a teacher herself, Wolfe credits much of inspiration and drive to become an educator to Kurtz. “He was able to make assignments fun but you knew that you were learning. He just had a way about him that was engaging and exciting,” said Wolfe.
Superintendent Blessing says she’s thankful to the community for their support during this time. “Schools are resilient places. We’re definitely going to continue to be there for our students and our staff and move forward.”
Students who attend Miamisburg Middle School will be returning to the classroom on Monday, September 27th. Grief counseling and other supportive services will also be offered to district schools for teachers, parents, and school faculty.