GENEVA — The City School District’s teacher ranks suffered a blow over the weekend when two high school math teachers died.
The district said Laura Flynn died on Sunday and Ivan Johnson the day earlier. Their illnesses were not disclosed.
Flynn had been a teacher in the district since 1999, while Johnson joined Geneva in 2011.
The district said Flynn had been on a leave of absence for medical reasons since February, while Johnson had been out since February 2016. There are long-term substitutes in place.
School Superintendent Trina Newton issued a statement on their passing Monday.
“We are deeply saddened by the deaths of Laura and Ivan,” she said. “Both had been out for some time with unrelated illnesses. Their passing would have been a tragedy under any circumstances, but the fact that we lost both in the same weekend is particularly heart-wrenching for all of us, and especially for their colleagues in the math department at Geneva High.
“Our hearts go out to their families and friends. A crisis team is in place at the high school to ensure we do everything in our power to assist students and co-workers through the difficult days ahead.”
Jennifer Davison, president of the Geneva Teachers Association and a math teacher at West Street School, said the union’s “thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of Laura and Ivan. Their expertise, professionalism and friendship will be greatly missed.”
High School Principal Greg Baker said Monday was a tough day at the school. Staff learned the Sunday night of the deaths in an email from Newton, and a staff meeting was held Monday morning prior to classes.
Baker also communicated the deaths of the two teachers during morning announcements on Monday.
Baker said Flynn taught geometry, and among her many students over the years was his older son, Prashanta.
“She was just one of the funniest, happiest and kindest people you’d ever meet,” he said, adding she was an excellent teacher and “universally loved.”
Johnson taught math in the school’s structured studies program and had what Baker called “a thousand-watt smile. He just radiated warmth and had a way of connecting” with students who had “challenges.”
Many students who took part in the structured studies program — which includes students on long-term, in-school suspension — “probably owe their graduations to Mr. Johnson.”
Baker said staff is dealing as best it can, given the circumstances.
The high school staff, said Baker, are “very close” and that they “are going through this together.”
The district did not have any information on funeral arrangements.