Community reacts to Diana teacher's death - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Community reacts to Diana teacher's death


An East Texas town is mourning the death of a popular high school teacher who died as the result of a single gunshot wound, according to authorities.

Gross is being remembered as a man dedicated to his career and his students, and was a favorite with teachers and kids alike.

"He was a true, good, honest man; he was all heart. I've never heard him say any bad thing about anybody," said family friend Kevin Francis.

"To hear that such a good man was taken so early; it's senseless," said fellow New Diana High School teacher Ginger Freeman.

Several law enforcement agencies responded to Gross' home on Sunbird Road in the Union Grove area of Upshur county Friday. Investigators said David suffered a single gunshot wound, but they offered no details about what happened, and rumors began to circulate.

"The rumor was that he had walked in on an intruder. At the time the 'rumor mill' was flying; in retrospect, I probably should not have mentioned it. The rumors were erroneously reported as information I had received from authorities, which was not the case," said New Diana ISD superintendent Joyce Sloan.

Exactly what happened is still not clear, as investigators have not released much information. But the teacher's death has deeply affected the community.

"If you had a problem, he'd try to help you out the best he can. He tried his best to help every kid out and do his best for them," said former New Diana student Aaron Francis.

Most will remember his dedication to teaching, and a phrase that he repeated often.

"Anytime there was something, it may not have been in the Ag Department, but he was going to pitch in and help. I think his favorite phrase was 'whatever's best for the kids,'" said New Diana high school principal Adrian Knight.

"It's all about the kids. That was David. It's all about the kids; whatever we need to do , it's about them," Freeman added.

"He was a good man; a kind and gentle soul," Sloan says.

David's ag-students, in tribute to him, are continuing their competition at the Houston livestock show and rodeo this weekend.

Funeral arrangements are pending.


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