Grief strikes unity in math department

Avery Filipowicz, Reporter

Math teacher John Yantiss is the type who chases you down the hallway with candy after leaving his classroom.

A person like this deserves to have everything, not lose it.

Yet the dedicated member of the math department recently lost his house in a fire caused by a lightning strike over fall break. To make matters worse, two weeks following the fire, he ventured outside his temporary hotel residence to find that his car was broken into. 

The fire engulfed many antiques and personal belongings, but not his flash drives containing important files and lesson plans.

For the time being, he is living in a rental home, but long-term, his insurance company is paying to rebuild his home.

The most important things cannot be bought again, however.

“Material things are material things,” Yantiss says. “They can vanish, but your faith, your friends, that’s what’s important and what gets you through.” 

Yantiss stresses that people are blessed with things that cannot be replaced. He has stayed positive throughout the tough times and converted his negative thoughts to help and relate to others.

“Seeing everyone step up and be so giving and generous to me is so heartwarming,” he says.

The rest of the math department has “rallied around him” and shown him love through service and helping him with his current house. 

Math teacher Kevin England, for instance, hung up some much needed blinds for Yantiss in his temporary house. 

Yantiss encourages anyone going through rough times to “rely on those around you and ask for help when you need it.”