The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

School reacts to death of beloved coach and teacher, Ron Freeman

School reacts to death of beloved coach and teacher, Ron Freeman


Tributes cover campus; resources available for students

At the beginning of second period on Jan. 24, Principal April Scott announced over the intercom the news of coach and teacher Ron Freeman’s death. After she reminded the MVHS community to cherish the people who surround them, she began a moment of silence to remember Freeman.


In conjunction with the administration, the ASB Leadership class set up tables in the Rally Court and the Academic Quad during lunch and brunch with posters of Freeman that students could sign and purple ribbons to wear.

In addition, all Physical Education classes spent their class time writing notes on posters, creating a colorful collage on the gym wall.

Over the weekend and during the school day, several students, teachers, and members of the community visited the memorial set up behind the pool: a water polo goal filled with flowers, stuffed animals, pictures, notes, and water polo balls. Freeman’s mother and step-father visited the memorial this afternoon.

The girls water polo team wore their Hawaiian luau dresses today while the boys water polo team wore their team jackets. The Farewell Rally, the last rally of the year, will also have a Hawaiian theme and there will be no winners in this upcoming rally, which will also include a tribute photo montage to Freeman at the beginning. Instead of dressing in purple as per Friday tradition, faculty plans to wear Hawaiian shirts.

“It was his thing. He loved going to Hawaii,” Dean of Students Denae Moore said.

The staff dodgeball team will be wearing water polo caps during Thursday’s district game in honor of Freeman, who was an active member of the team.

Several teachers began their classes discussing the news with their students and provided the option to opt out of exams and leave class to take part in the counseling opportunities across campus.

Filling large shoes:

Robbie Hoffman will be teaching Freeman’s history classes through the end of the school year. Hoffman taught the same classes during the fall semester while Freeman was teaching Sarah Jensen’s current P.E. classes as she filled in for counselor Sarah Hershey who was on maternity leave.

Coach Don Vierra will be coaching during the swim season, which starts next week, along with some assistant coaches.  

“We're going to make it work and we're going to have a successful season because that's what [Freeman] would have wanted," Vierra said today during a meeting with students in the aquatics program.

Freeman’s Pool:

Freeman was instrumental to the development of the aquatics program at MVHS.

“He was such a voice for advocating for a pool that would be great for kids. It was very easy to listen to him and think that maybe he was only talking about [water] polo–until you really listened to him as he said, ‘I don’t want to give up shallow lanes. We’re teaching kids to swim here. We can’t sacrifice shallow lanes,’” principal April Scott said.

Talks are in place to have the school pool named after Freeman. The school and his teams hope to have it in place prior to the memorial service, according to Scott.

“He had such a following. They raised $160,000 so that we could have a 35-meter pool and not a 30-meter pool. The scoreboard was the same way… It was him who really fought for the size of the pool, the scoreboard, the [pool] lights, all of those things that make our center an aquatic center — it’s so appropriate that we would try to get it named after him. It’s the legacy he’s left the school for sure.”


Two school psychologists, student advocate Richard Prinz, and counselors are available for students in various locations at school, including the library and gym. Student advocates from all schools in the district are also on call, as are professionals from grief counseling centers Kara and Center for Living with Dying.


A memorial service will be held in February at MVHS, open to the public. A private funeral will also be held, for immediate family only.

Community members who wish to participate in an El Estoque online commemoration for coach & teacher Ron Freeman can come to A111 (near the front of the school) from 12:45 to 9 p.m., Jan. 25. We will have the microphone set up for you to tell us how you will remember Ron Freeman. If you are not a current student and visit during school hours, please sign in at the main office. You may also email us an audio clip and/or send us pictures at [email protected].

Read more:
Jan 22: "Coach and teacher Ron Freeman dies"

Jan 24: "Ron Freeman—the legacy lives on"


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