WEST HARTFORD, Conn (WTNH) — Staff and students at Kingswood Oxford School are mourning the death of a veteran teacher who was killed early Tuesday when her car collided with a school bus on her way to work.
“The rest of the school year is not going to be the same,” said student Joannie Burzymowska.
Burzymowska said “the whole campus shut down” upon hearing of 64-year-old Patricia Rosoff’s death. “A couple people were balling their eyes out. The room was just silent for the rest of the day.”
“She was a giant in our community,” head of school Dennis Bisgaard said in a statement posted on the school’s website. “Her loss is incalculable.”
Rosoff taught art and English at the West Hartford private school for 39 years. A native of California, Rosoff taught the “enormously popular” AP Art History class, school officials said. And she was an award-winning artist herself.
“Pat was an artist in every sense of the word — an artist of color, words, people and emotions,” said Natalie Demers, the school’s assistant head of school for academic life. “She was the ultimate student — she never wanted to stop learning new things.”
As an art critic, Rosoff wrote often for the Hartford Advocate, Art New England and Sculpture Magazine, according to school officials. Some of her work can be seen on the Hartford Courant’s website.
“She truly epitomozed lifelong learning,” Demers said. “She is who anyone in education would aspire to be. She saw the good, and the potential, in everyone. We will miss her terribly.”
School officals said Tuesday that two grief conselors are on staff and more will be added in the coming days. Kingswood Oxford School enrolls students in grades 6-12.
Rosoff collided with a school bus about 7:10 a.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Boulevard and Mountain Road in West Hartford. She was extricated from her vehicle before being transported to UCONN Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead, police said.
The driver of the school bus and the 18 students on board were not injured.
The accident remains under investigation.
WTNH’s Bob Wilson contributed to this report.