Cleveland teacher dies after battle with COVID-19

A Cleveland ISD teacher who died as a result of COVID-19 and other health issues is being remembered as the “epitome of a true educator.” Michael Moore, a Cleveland Middle School teacher, died on Jan. 3 at the age of 48.

Michael Moore

CMS Principal Chris McCurry called Moore “a dedicated teacher who was always willing to help a student or a fellow teacher.” For the last two years of his 11 years in education, Moore taught English-Language Arts to sixth-grade students at Cleveland Middle School.

In a phone interview on Wednesday, Cleveland ISD Superintendent Chris Trotter said his thoughts and prayers are with Moore’s family as they cope with his tragic loss. Grief counselors will be available for students and staff this week at Cleveland Middle School.

Trotter said fortunately there hasn’t been an outbreak of COVID-19 cases among Moore’s students. The last time Moore was with them was prior to the Christmas break, more than two weeks ago.

Also on Wednesday, Trotter responded to concerns about the District’s handling of COVID-19 cases in his “In the Know” Facebook video series. Since the pandemic began last March, Trotter has posted 32 videos, many with COVID-19 as the main topic.

“We are doing everything we can, even throughout the break,” Trotter said.

The District has asked all students and staff to wear masks to avoid spreading the illness and custodial staff members are spraying every room at each campus three times a week to avoid the virus lingering on desks or other surfaces.

“We have plenty of cleaning solution to get us through Spring Break. Our purchasing department is getting us more spray for after Spring Break,” Trotter said. “We absolutely do not want to get kids or staff sick.”

Trotter said that masks, social distancing and cleaning protocols are the best defenses right now against COVID-19, and he is frequently in touch with Liberty County Office of Emergency Management and county officials to stay informed on the latest information about vaccines and case numbers.

“The District has a plan and I want to reassure the public that, if we were to change with information from the County, we could go to virtual learning with an overnight switch,” said Trotter.

He said he is working with local and state authorities, and other school district superintendents in the area to monitor vaccine rollouts.

“As the federal and state governments come out with opportunities, we are anticipating vaccines for teaching staff and employees in the Phase 2A and 2B rollout,” he said.

With the virus able to quickly spread from person to person, Trotter said it has been challenging to safeguard the health and safety of 9,000 students and 1,000 staff members, but he is confident in the safety protocols established by the District.

“We are going to continue following CDC guidelines. We have quarantined when we’ve needed it. We set up testing protocols with Texas Emergency Hospital. Thankfully we have had a low number of cases proportionately, but even one case is too many for me,” he said.

Cleveland ISD has set up several email accounts to address concerns and answer questions. To reach your child’s campus, send email to the proper email address listed below:

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Before creating Bluebonnet News in 2018, Vanesa Brashier was a community editor for the Houston Chronicle/Houston Community Newspapers. During part of her 12 years at the newspapers, she was assigned as the digital editor and managing editor for the Humble Observer, Kingwood Observer, East Montgomery County Observer and the Lake Houston Observer, and the editor of the Dayton News, Cleveland Advocate and Eastex Advocate. Over the years, she has earned more than two dozen writing awards, including Journalist of the Year.


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