PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The school community is mourning the sudden loss of Taconic High School teacher Kevin Harrington, 38.
Harrington, a special education teacher and coach, collapsed Wednesday in a classroom at the school after a medical incident.
"Our students lost a teacher with an infectious optimism, a ready smile, and a constant willingness to help his colleagues and students alike," Superintendent Jason McCandless said in a statement. "He was a true champion for all students, including students who most needed a champion. To know Mr. Harrington was to love and respect him. He taught in the school he graduated from and loved, and he will be deeply missed by his family, his many, many friends, his colleagues, and by the entire Pittsfield community."
Harrington was a Taconic alum and according to a press release from the high school's athletic department, "excelled in the classroom, and on the playing fields." He was captain of the football and wrestling team and became the first wrestler in school history to reach the 100 Career Wins Plateau. He graduated in 2000 and, after continuing his education, came back to Taconic in the mid-2000s.
"Our thoughts are with Mr. Harrington's family," Taconic High School Principal Matt Bishop said in a press release. "His dedication to students was deep. His impact was vast. He will be missed by everyone who knew him."
Harrington served in a variety of supporting roles as a teacher and program director. He was also involved in the Taconic's athletic program as the assistant football for five years and as assistant softball coach. He had played an integral role during Taconic softball's 2005 Western Mass Championship Title, before eventually being appointed to the head coach position from 2010 to 2017. Harrington also was a camp mentor with the local DARE program.
"It is with sadness that we acknowledge that the Harrington family's loss is also a significant loss to Taconic High School and our community." Pittsfield Public Schools Athletic Director Jim Abel said. "Coach Harrington was a kind, caring individual that exuded Taconic green and gold. He
had a passion for helping young people reach their potential in each of the roles he played at our school. We lost a quality person, and a valued contributor to our community."
The statement withholds medical information but thanks first-responders and school staff for responding heroically.
A call went out to families to inform them of what happened and also to share that counselors will be available for all students throughout the week and for as long as necessary.
McCandless added that the school brought in more than 20 professional counselors from across the district to serve students and staff.
"We have triaged to offer services to those closest to Mr. Harrington and well beyond," he said on Friday. "We have engaged with the Brien Center in Pittsfield for some additional assistance in very specialized areas. We will continue to offer support for as long as needed to help our school community cope with this loss."
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