Brian was a graduate of St. Joseph Collegiate Institute. He enjoyed playing football and was a trombonist in the SJCI Jazz Lab Band. It was during his time there and his exposure to a great teacher that he decided teaching would be his career. After graduating in 1991, he went to John Carroll University in Cleveland to pursue a degree in English. Here he also played on the football team. Student teaching gave him the opportunity to interact and work with inner city kids. He later obtained a degree as a Reading Specialist at the University of Buffalo.
He began teaching English at Kenmore West High School in September 1995. His sense of humor and unique presentation of course material in everyday terms motivated his students to want to come to his class. He genuinely cared about all of his students not only in the classroom but in their lives outside the classroom. To many students he was the teacher they would always remember, a father figure, a role model.
Brian had a gentle and patient way with persons with disabilities. He spent time with his brother, Dan, who has special needs and he often attended the Special Olympic Games to cheer him on. He initiated “Men’s Night Out” where he would take his sons and brother out to do something special. And so Brian easily continued this caring and laid-back interaction with students in the Special Education classes at Ken West. He was always able to understand and communicate with everyone he met. His sincere interest in the lives and wellbeing of others and his charismatic personality drew people to him.
As a family man, Brian was a loving, devoted and unselfish husband and father. He liked to cook and to entertain friends and family. His world revolved around family. The summer before his death, he made a decision to stop coaching modified football so that he could spend more time with his family. He wanted to be able to attend and help coach his sons’ soccer games. He also had signed them up for a Fall basketball league – a sport he himself enjoyed immensely, playing with friends and associates. He never got to see his sons play.
Thank you for helping us celebrate Brian’s life and raise money for a scholarship in his name, continuing his legacy of kindness and compassion.
ABOUT BRIAN DUGAN