CHARLEROI (KDKA) — The students of Charleroi High School gathered Saturday evening for a candlelight vigil to remember and honor their beloved principal who collapsed and died suddenly earlier in the week.
Vince Vitori, 43, was meeting with a student in his office when he collapsed on Thursday morning. The school was put on lockdown while crews tried to revive him, but he later died at the hospital.
Vitori’s death shocked the entire community and it was the students who organized the vigil as a way to honor his life.
“Thursday was a very tough day, and then Friday was a very tough day and they came up with the idea of having this candlelight vigil,” said Dr. Brad Ferko, the Charleroi School District’s superintendent “He was a great educator.”
“We’ve been so busy organizing this and it’s hard,” said Brandi Duvevei, a sophomore. “It really hasn’t hit me yet. In school, it’s going to be so hard.”
In a statement, Vitori’s family thanked the community for it’s support.
“Mr. Vitori’s wife, Carrie, and their daughter, Danielle, would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support they have received from the communities of Elizabeth Township and Charleroi. He has touched the lives of so many children and their hope is that he will continue to do so by living on in their memories.”
Graduation is scheduled for June 8, and the students say that will be a very difficult day to get through without their principal.
“He gave nice speeches and he had a speech every year,” said Michael Harmon, a senior. “We’ve gone to every graduation looking forward to hearing his speech and now we have nothing really to look forward to.”
On Monday, the school with be closed so students can attend Vitori’s funeral.