ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Dr. Brian Howard, the local leader from Troy who fell while clearing snow off his roof Thursday, has passed.
Multiple sources said Dr. Howard suffered major brain damage as a result of the fall and passed away Friday afternoon. Dr. Howard was an educator, mentor and leader. Those who knew him personally said Dr. Howard inspired positive change anywhere he went.
“It’s heartbreaking to see such a terrible thing happen to such a great man,” Jason Schofield said.
Schofield worked with Dr. Howard from 2011 to 2013 and is the current board president of the Troy City School District. He said the district was searching for a leader when they found Dr. Howard.
“The district was in disarray,” he said. “And we were amazed by Dr. Howard.”
Schofield said Dr. Howard instantly transformed the district.
“[He] brought it back together,” he said. “Brought the board back together, brought the community back together again.”
Schofield said Dr. Howard was instrumental in building the new Troy Middle School and pointing the leadership team in a better direction.
“What he did for two years will have an impact on every child that comes through our district in a lifetime,” he said.
The entire district is mourning Dr. Howard’s loss.
Current Superintendent John Carmello released the following statement upon learning of Howard’s passing:
“This is obviously a very difficult time for us in the Troy School District. What an absolute tragedy to lose someone like Dr. Howard, who was so full of life, still travelling, hiking, and staying active. He accomplished so much during his two years here and was so critical in moving the district forward, always keeping the focus on students and learning. I am forever indebted to him for what he did for the Troy School District and for me, personally and professionally.”
“He always reminded the board, every decision you make you make on what’s best for the kids; not for the adults,” Schofield said.
During his career, Dr. Howard led several other school districts and also ran for a state senate seat in fall 2014. He was well known in the community.
Michael LoPorto said he knew Dr. Howard for nearly 30 years. He’s now the owner of LoPorto Ristorante Caffe in Troy. He said Dr. Howard ate at his restaurant often.
“I always talked to him every time I see him,” he recalled. “Everything he tried to do, he tried to help out the community.”
It’s now Dr. Howard’s legacy of help and hope for the community that people are remembering.
Dr. Howard was 65.