Devoted to kids. Consummate professional. Terrific.
Friends and students gushed with praise Wednesday for Vicki Kaspar, 58, the Millard South High assistant principal fatally shot by a student at school.
“Just a wonderful woman, a great neighbor, terrific school administrator. Just so sad that she should get caught up in this,” said the Rev. Glen Thomas, pastor of St. Matthew Lutheran Church at 1725 S. 60th St. in Omaha, who has two sons at Millard South.
Kaspar, who would have celebrated her birthday Thursday, died Wednesday night at Creighton University Medical Center.
She is survived by her husband, Ron.
Kaspar's son, also named Ron, teaches science at the school, Millard Public Schools spokeswoman Amy Friedman said. Students said he rushed from his classroom after staff notified him of the shooting.
Friedman said Kaspar was “a dynamo.”
“She was just an awesome woman. I can't believe she's gone,” Friedman said.
The district hired Kaspar in 1988 to teach English. She was promoted to assistant principal in 1998.
Jean Stothert, a former Millard school board member, recalled Kaspar frequenting student activities, from football games to plays. She described her as smart, knowledgeable about curriculum, experienced and respected by students.
Pierce Dageforde, a 16-year-old junior on the school newspaper staff, said Kaspar wasn't content to sit in the office all day.
“She wanted to get involved in the lives of all the students around her,” he said.
Kaspar sent e-mails to the student reporters complimenting them on their work.
In an e-mail to Dageforde, Kaspar wrote:
“I loved your newspaper article so much that I read it twice. It was exquisitely well written in the true sense of satire, poking fun and using humor to bring about change,” Kaspar wrote, adding. “I am so glad you are a Millard South student. Kudos!”
Rick Kolowski, a retired Millard principal, described her as a “consummate professional” and an “excellent, excellent teacher.”
Kolowski was principal at Millard South from 1970 to 1983 and most recently served as Millard West principal.
Millard South junior Hailey Bedore, 16, said Kaspar was a hard worker.
Bedore said she interviewed Kaspar's son for a question-and-answer feature about what it was like working in the same school with his mom. Ron told her he liked to have his mother just a call or a short walk away.