FREMONT (KPIX 5) — A somber return to class at a Fremont high school as students and faculty on Wednesday mourned the death of a beloved physics teacher killed in the deadly boat fire near the Channel Islands early Labor Day morning.
Authorities are working to identify more of the victims. Many were from the Bay Area and surrounding regions.
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Raymond Scott Chan taught AP physics at American High School in Fremont. It was his third year with the district, and he was well loved for his enthusiasm in the classroom-and commitment to education
“Definitely one of my favorite teachers,” said Connor Vo, a former student of Chan’s. “Physics is really hard for people, but I think he tried to make it interesting for everyone. I don’t know, I just like teachers that try their best and really care about their students.”
Chan left a job in the tech sector for the classroom. Students who had him as a teacher said that passion for learning and giving back are what made him great.
A love of math, science and diving was something Chan shared with his daughter Kendra. She was a marine biologist in Ventura and a fellow diver. Both were on board at the time of the fire and are presumed dead.
“I was in the room when the principal went in to read the statement and let them know and it was just utter shock,” said Fremont Unified Superintendent Kim Wallace.
Grief counselors are on campus to support the student body and faculty members. They got the news Tuesday afternoon and said they are still struggling to make sense of it all.
“The emotional impact is huge. And it’s just something you can never totally prepare for,” said Wallace.
“Even now it’s like, I don’t know how something like that could happen. It’s just so sudden,” said Vo.
Grief counselors will be here as long as needed, school district officials said Wednesday.