BY TARYN FITSIK
ALBANY, N.Y.– Tuesday News 10 reported on the private plane crash off the coast of Belize in Central America that killed Albany native Michael Casey, his wife Jill, and their two young children.
The Caseys were teachers at the Gallon Jug Community School in Belize, near the border of Guatamala. 17-year-old Anabella Delarosa, a former student at Gallon Jug, says the Caseys taught her the importance of education.
“It's been a great impact,” says Delarosa. “I don't think words can even explain how much they have influenced a lot of people.”
Delarose is already a freshman at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, a dream she says was made possible by the Caseys.
“They really stressed the point of education, to make yourself better, to bring yourself out of Gallon Jug, a small, loving third world community and make that step to a better future for you and your family,” says Penny Casey, Michael Casey's mother.
Family members say the Caseys were affectionately known to their students as “Mr. Mike” and “Miss Jill”. A seventh grade student at Gallon Jug Community School writes, “I had never found a teacher like him. Mr. Mike told us that he was in Gallon Jug because he wanted to teach and get Belizean students a better education. He was an example for us and will be forever.
“Those kids were their children down there,” says Penny Casey. “We as a family here were his family here but they were he and Jill's family down there.”
“Examples of current students and what they're doing, their visions and goals, are just a living testimony that will live on and be passed on as well,” says Sister Constance Casey, Michael's aunt.
“They will forever be in our hearts,” adds Delarosa. “No matter what, they were great.”
Michael Casey was also the Executive Director for “Worlds Window”, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life and education in desperate areas of the world.
For more information, go to http://worlds-window.com/website/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1