By LISA CAPOBIANCO
The Greene-Hills School community remembers first grader Noah McCoy for his contagious laugh and love for artwork.
Many of the 6-year-old’s drawings are displayed inside the classroom of Kirstan Fries, who was Noah’s teacher at Greene-Hills. He also enjoyed riding his bike and playing outside with his siblings.
On Dec. 28, Noah passed away at Yale-New Haven Hospital following the injuries he sustained in a motor vehicle accident on Christmas Day.
“He was always smiling,” said Fries, adding how Noah was making a lot of progress in school. “He was always happy. He could make kids laugh. He liked to help.”
After news broke of his sudden death, students, staff and families of Greene-Hills wanted to honor Noah’s life in any way they could. Scott Gaudet, the principal of Greene-Hills School, said staff and parents throughout the district reached out in many ways after hearing about Noah’s passing.
The school district also established the Noah McCoy Memorial Fund to show support for Noah’s family.
“I was taken aback by how quickly both the school community and the Bristol community at large responded. Within 24 hours, we identified this way to help the family with the funeral expenses.” said Gaudet. “When tragedy hits, we always come together.”
Additional counselors also were made on call for students who needed support, and Greene-Hills staff met upon their return from the holiday break last Tuesday to ensure that everyone was okay, said Gaudet.
“His eyes…his smile could melt your heart,” said Gaudet, recalling his memory of Noah. “He was a very friendly boy, had a lot of friends here at Greene-Hills. The staff absolutely loved him.”
This spring, Noah’s classmates hope to grow plants in the school courtyard in memory of their peer, said Fries. Looking ahead, Fries hopes to remember Noah in a variety of other ways at Greene-Hills.
“These students become part of your family, and you love them like your own,” said Fries, who met Noah when he was just two years old. “He’s going to be greatly missed.”
Checks can be made out to the Noah McCoy Memorial Fund. Donations can be sent directly to Greene-Hills School, 718 Pine St., Bristol, 06010 or to Grant Manager Jodi Bond at the Bristol Board of Education offices, 129 Church St., Bristol, CT, 06010.
Comments? Email lcapobianco@BristolObserver.com.