Jul 17, 2011 11:42 PM by Matt Stafford
Rob Christopher inspired students at Air Academy High School for years, but now they're mourning his death.
Christopher was hit by a lightning bolt as it struck a nearby tree while camping with his family in Arizona last Tuesday. District 20 confirmed that Christopher had passed away.
"He's going to be missed by all of the alumni and students that he had," says Josh Wolfaardt, a former student of Christopher's who graduated from Air Academy High School in 2008.
Teacher, coach, mentor; those are a few of the more common ways Christopher is being remembered, but mostly as a friend. Those friends are using a Facebook page to share what Christopher meant to them.
"It just instantly hit me, because Mr. Christopher was one of my favorite teachers, by far. He actually inspired me to go the route that I'm going right now," says Wolfaardt. He's planning to graduate in May with a degree in Criminal Justice; an education he says Christopher laid the foundation for in his high school AP Government classes. He says Christopher was fun to be in the classroom with.
"He would always have a smile on his face," says Wolfaardt. "He always joked around in class; he had a lot of jokes."
But more than that, Wolfaardt says he was inspiring. He remembers Christopher's love for history and naval ships. He says Christopher pushed his students to find their own passion.
"He was always telling us, you know, 'As long as you really want to do something there's nothing that's going to stop you,'" recalls Wolfaardt.
To visit the memorial page dedicated to Christopher on Facebook, click here.