Teacher Who Died In Crash Left Lasting Impression On Former Students

Posted at 10:43 PM, Dec 04, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-04 22:43:27-05

HAMILTON, Mich. – High school teacher Joshua Hoppe was on his way to an early morning meeting at the high school when he was involved in a fatal crash near the Tulip City Truck Stop.

The night of his death, his former students and colleagues remembered a life that touched many people.

Raelyn Prikasky, Samantha Gates, and Courtney Hendrix are friends that graduated in 2012.  They also share a love for a teacher who went above and beyond in their eyes.

“We would just show up out of nowhere and write on his board, ‘We were here’ and silly things like that,” said Prikasky.

“He left me notes on my tests when I wasn’t passing them and say you can come in and I can help you,” Gates said.

Stories like these will likely stay with the former students of Joshua Hoppe for a long time.

His former students said he would use creative teaching tactics that kept these students engaged in the government classes that Hoppe taught at Hamilton High school.

“With his class, you looked forward to it.  It was just fun,” Hendricks said.

Hamilton Superintendent David Tebo said it’s a loss to not just current students, but future ones as well.

“Josh was the type of teacher that every parent would want for their children,” he said.

For the student that graduated and have moved on, the news of their former teacher’s death hit them hard.  They expect the pain will linger for some time.

“I go to GRCC and I was balling my eyes out right before class,” said Prikasky.  “I feel it really hasn’t sunk in yet.”

At the same time these former students know how lucky they are to have shared the experiences with a teacher that taught them so much in such little time.

Memorials for current and former students were held throughout the community Wednesday night, including at the high school.