Recent graduate Emily Zarnoch, ’14, died on Aug. 4, in York, Maine, of injuries sustained when she was struck by alleged drunk driver.
Emily was described as “the definition of ‘fun-loving’” by recent graduate Emma Smith. “She was always ready to have a good time.”
Smith said Emily “truly just wanted to enjoy life.”
She was also a “huge Boston sports fan,” according to Smith, and was very fond of her hometown Quincy.
According to English professor Kelly Matthews, Emily worked for the English Language Center of Boston, teaching English to international students. She was also a substitute teacher for Central Middle School before being hired as an English teacher there. Emily was set to start her new job in September.
Matthews, who was her supervisor for student teaching, said Emily excelled at working with students who needed extra help academically. “She cared about every student. She connected with every single student, and every time I came to watch her in the classroom, I was just struck by the strong relationships she had with all the students.”
English professor Elaine Beilin described Emily as “someone who grew and came into her own” during her time at FSU.
She added that because of Emily’s “radiant personality” she was very “fitted to becoming a teacher.
“She really loved the classroom so much, and that’s the kind of person you want to be a teacher.”
English professor Claudia Springer, who taught Emily’s Expository Writing class, said she could “see even then that she had the skills for teaching – that she could light up a room. She had the charisma to have students pay attention and listen to her and learn from her.”
Springer added, “Everybody must mourn the fact that her students have been deprived of this wonderful teacher. Her loss is profound to all of us.”
Emily was also a dedicated member of the FSU dance team. Fellow dance team member Lindsay Keith described her as “a positive energy to be around.” When Keith first joined the dance team, she was “nervous and intimidated.” Emily “introduced herself with a genuine smile and she immediately made me feel relieved and welcomed.”
According to Keith, Emily was friends with Ashley Donahue, another FSU student and fellow dance team member who was a victim of a drunk driving accident. Emily took Donahue’s death “hard,” but was there to support everyone else.
“It’s cliche to say that the world needs more people like her,” said Keith, “but it’s truly the best way to describe the type of person she was.”
Emily was survived by her parents, John and Gwen Zarnoch, her sister, Kyle Zarnoch, her boyfriend Stephen Cortez, and many aunts, uncles, and cousins