Sophomore Deja Smith could not imagine a day where she walked into McCluer North and her best friend wasn’t on her arm. On Friday, Aug. 24, sophomore Robert Ball died unexpectedly. Once Smith heard the news, tears began falling instantly.
“At first I thought it was a joke, but once I found out it was real, I couldn’t do anything but cry,” said Smith.
Smith was a very close friend to Ball, one of his best friends to be exact.
Smith met Ball when she was in the seventh grade, and expresses how she couldn’t be any happier to know she was given the opportunity to have him as one of her best friends.
“Robert was the type of person that could make you feel good about any and every situation, and he could light up a whole room just by smiling,” Smith said.
Throughout the three years that the two have known each other, they have shared a lot of great memories. Smith continues to think about him every day.
As for English teacher Ms. Rosso, hearing the news was quite shocking.
“When I heard the news I was very upset,” Rosso said.
Rosso was on her way to church with her family when suddenly she received a text from one of her co-workers, saying that Ball had passed away. The second she read the text, she instantly started crying.
“I just couldn’t believe it,” Rosso said.
Rosso was Ball’s freshman English teacher, and the two shared a strong teacher-student connection. If Ball ever needed help with anything, he knew Rosso would be there to help him.
Rosso explains when it came to Ball’s schoolwork he would try very hard to excel in the areas that he struggled in.
The weekend turned out to be a very emotional weekend for Rosso, because that same weekend one of her other former students, Jake Volmer, died also.
Just like Rosso, hearing the news was also a shocker for Ms. Drury.
Drury was another one of Ball’s former freshman teachers.
“When I heard the news I couldn’t stop crying,” said Drury.
Drury and Ball didn’t share a strong connection like he and Rosso did, but she did everything she could just to see him succeed.
Drury admits that one of the most significant things about Ball was his smile.
“His smile could light up the whole room,” said Drury, “I’ll never forget it.”