ST. LOUIS – A family has confirmed the identity of the teacher killed in Monday’s shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School.
Jean Kuczka was a health and physical education teacher at CVPA, where she’d worked since 2008. She also taught personal finance.
Kuczka, 61, was one of two victims in the shooting. She lived in Dittmer with her husband and one of their five children. She had seven grandchildren.
Kuczka graduated from Lindbergh High School in 1979 and went to Missouri State University on a field hockey scholarship. She earned her degree in education. Kuczka was a member of Missouri State’s 1979 National Championship team. In January 2010, that team was inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.
Kuczka was looking forward to retirement in a few years, according to her family.
“It’s still unbelievable,” said Missouri State Rep. LaKeySha Bosley, D-St. Louis.
She was one of Kuczka’s former students.
“She showed up in the classroom and out of the classroom, and that’s what I remember about her,” Bosley said. “She was always there.”
Kuczka’s daughter, Abigail Kuczka, said her mom was, “passionate for making a difference and enjoyed spending time with her family.”
“Just heartbreaking,” said Robertsville resident Jill Aten. “This has to stop.”
Kyle Redmond lives in De Soto. He said he wants Kuczka’s family to know they will have support.
“We love you and the whole heart of St. Louis and Jefferson County is going to grieve with you,” he said. “We’ll pray for you all.”
The other victim, a student, has not been identified.
The shooter, identified as Orlando Harris, injured nine people in all.
According to Interim St. Louis Police Chief Lt. Col. Michael Sack, the shooting happened around 9:10 a.m. Officers arrived at the school, located at the corner of Kingshighway and Arsenal, just minutes later, and immediately made entry into the building.
St. Louis police engaged the shooter inside the school and fatally wounded him.
This is a developing news story. FOX 2 will have more information on this story this afternoon and evening.