The following statement was released this afternoon by the South Orange-Maplewood School District:
Wednesday morning at Columbia High School began with Dr. Lovie Lilly informing students of the loss of Mr. Mark McCombs, a beloved Health and Physical Education teacher. Dr. Lilly shared that: “Throughout his tenure at the school, Mr. McCombs touched the lives of many, many students, faculty and staff. The results of Mr. McCombs outstanding teaching and his insistence on high expectations for all students will live on forever.”
Key staff members spent time with each of Mr. McCombs classes today to support his students. A Grief Speaks counselor worked with Physical Education staff, administrators, and students throughout the day. Staff counselors are also available to support students and staff as they process this terrible loss.
Mr. McCombs served as a well-respected teacher at Columbia High School since 1999, and also as a former Head Coach of the CHS football team. Friday, March 23, 2012, was Mr. McCombs’ final day teaching at CHS. Mr. McCombs passed away unexpectedly while in the hospital on Tuesday, March 27th.
Judy LoBianco, the Supervisor of Physical Education, Nursing Services and Health, said “Mr. McCombs was one of the most caring and compassionate teachers I have ever had the privilege of knowing.”
Superintendent Brian G. Osborne conveyed sympathies to Mr. McCombs’ family: “The staff, students and families of the South Orange Maplewood School District extend heartfelt condolences to Mr. McCombs’ wife Roselyn, and their four children. He will be sorely missed.”