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Sarasota High School teacher dies from COVID-19

Robert Shackelford, known to others as "Coach Shack" died Wednesday after a battle with COVID-19.

SARASOTA, Fla. — The Sarasota community is mourning the loss of one of its high school teachers.

Sarasota High School principal David Jones says Robert Shackelford, 61, known to others as "Coach Shack," died Wednesday after a battle with COVID-19.

Credit: Sarasota High School

Jones sent an email to the Sarasota High School family saying:

Dear Sarasota High School Family,

It is with a very heavy heart that I write you. Our beloved teacher, Robert Shackleford, lost his life today to COVID-19.

When we at school heard of Robert’s passing, we were saddened beyond belief. There was a feeling that passed among us, a feeling that his death has left us with a void that can never be entirely filled.

Our sorrow is abiding, and perhaps one of the few consolations we have is the knowledge that we were privileged to know and work with Robert over the years. During that time, we came to know him as a person of intelligence, integrity, and incredible conscientiousness, whose life and career were indeed an inspiration to us all.

We also take comfort in the fact that a part of him will continue to live, reflected in the lives of the students he has instructed and guided over the years. As a teacher, he gave of himself, perhaps the greatest gift of all, and those students who were fortunate enough to fall under his unique tutelage will carry his ideals, his knowledge, and his moral principles into the world, and the world cannot help but be made a better place because of it.

Our hearts and our prayers are with his family and with our SHS family at this most difficult of times.

David Jones

Principal, Sarasota High School

 A memorial Facebook group has been created, In Memory of Robert Shackelford “Coach Shack” ❤️, and is open to the community to share memories, photos and support. 

The one and only. He was so loved and the perfect gentleman and friend. I always knew he had my back. He will be missed.

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