Already Reeling From Student’s Death, High School In Region Mourns Loss Of Beloved Teacher

A high school community in the region already mourning the loss of a student is now dealing with more grief following the death of a beloved teacher.

Mary Hoffa, a 20-year science teacher at Schenectady High School, died Wednesday, March 1, following an illness.
Mary Hoffa, a 20-year science teacher at Schenectady High School, died Wednesday, March 1, following an illness. Photo Credit: Schenectady City School District/Google Maps street view

Mary Hoffa, who taught science for 20 years at Schenectady High School, died Wednesday, March 1, after battling an illness, according to a statement from Schenectady City Schools Superintendent Anibal Soler.

Soler said several of Hoffa’s colleagues had been in contact with her and were at her bedside before she died. 

“Mary was known as a smart and kind woman, adored and loved by all who knew her,” Soler said. “She will be greatly missed by her students, colleagues and the Schenectady community.”

Naquasia Corbett, one of Hoffa’s former students, recalled attending her summer biology class in a tribute on Facebook.

“The first thing she said to me was… you don’t go to public school do you? Lol she made sure I passed that class that summer,” Corbett said. “She was very kind to me. RIP Ms. Hoffa!”

News of Hoffa’s death came just days after Schenectady Police confirmed that 14-year-old Samantha Humphrey, a sophomore at the school, was found dead in the Mohawk River. The teen’s body was recovered on Wednesday, Feb. 22, nearly three months after her mother reported her missing in November 2022.

Investigators did not speculate on a cause of death for Humphrey or say whether foul play is suspected. Autopsy results and additional information were expected to be released at a later date.

“In a building already dealing with the tragic passing of our student Samantha Humphries we will now have to carry on without one of our own,” Mike Silvestri, president of the Schenectady Federation of Teachers, said in a statement on Friday, March 3. 

“While it will be difficult, we have risen to these challenges before and will come together as the family we are,” he continued.

“Finally, I also need to acknowledge all my union sisters and brothers especially those in the Science Department at SHS who have rallied around Mary throughout her illness. While I’m not surprised at their out pouring of warmth and generosity for their colleague, I am nonetheless inspired by it.”

Funeral arrangements for Hoffa had not been made public as of Friday.

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