In the wake of several tragedies this school year, Tippecanoe Valley School Superintendent Brett Boggs is focusing on having as much help available to the students and staff as possible.
Most recently, the school system is dealing with the loss of 17-year-old Kurt Miller. Miller was killed in a lawnmower accident Friday. Boggs said all of the school counselors and area pastors will be available in the school system this morning. Counselors at the Bowen Center also are on call if they are needed at a moment’s notice.
“It’s a tough time and we’re saddened with a lot of grief,” Boggs said. “Kurt was one of those kids that was happy all the time, and he got along with everyone, and we’re going to miss him.”
Boggs said Miller and his family have been active and had a close relationship with the school system for years. Miller was a Tippecanoe Valley student from kindergarten through 11th grade, his older brother recently graduated from Tippecanoe Valley High School, and his mother Linda is an assistant at a preschool in Akron.
“It’s a tight knit community,” Boggs said. “We have a lot of kids and it’s going to be tough for them. He was active in the FFA.”
Boggs said Miller was never seen in anything but a T-shirt and blue jeans. Miller’s mother is asking for anyone who attends the viewing and funeral to wear something that reflects Miller to honor him. He liked John Deere and the Indianapolis Colts.
“He didn’t have an enemy in the world,” Boggs said. “He was a great kid.”
The Burket Fire Department created a Go Fund Me page in Miller’s honor. Miller was a junior firefighter. Burket Fire Chief Kevin McSherry said he knew Miller for a long time and he was a “heck of a nice kid.” McSherry said Miller wanted to be a firefighter at just 16.
“His dad was a fireman and it was a father-son type of thing, which is good in this day and age,” McSherry said.
McSherry said when they received the dispatch, he immediately knew the location and knew many firemen who lived in the area. He said when they arrived, CPR was being done, but there was no response at all.
“There was just nothing we could do. We’re not used to that,” McSherry said. “This is very tragic for our whole fire department.”
The fire department also is dedicating the Burket Fish Fry proceeds to the family as well on May 2. The GoFundMe fundraiser will continue through May 10. For more information, visit www.burketfire.org or www.gofundme.com/jrff_kurtmiller
(Story By The Times Union)