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Community, students mourn death of beloved Santee teacher

Posted at 9:26 AM, Feb 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-22 12:26:48-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Students, friends, and family are mourning the sudden death of a beloved East County teacher.

John Berray, a longtime and well-known math teacher in Grossmont Union High School District, was seriously injured when he was leaving for work on Jan. 29.

For an unknown reason, he got out of his car without it being placed in "park" and became pinned between his vehicle and his wife's vehicle, the county Medical Examiner said. He was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for an anoxic brain injury before he was pronounced dead on Feb. 12.

According to a statement from Grossmont Union High School District, Berray worked at the district office as a digital learning coach. He most recently served as the district's math curriculum specialist where his passion for math led to innovations being used district wide.

By all accounts, Berray was not only an exceptional educator but a husband, father, and friend.

His career started in 1995 at West Hills High. He was selected by his students as the Golden Apple Award winner in 2000 and once again in 2008. His peers named him the West Hill High School teacher of the year in 2014. He went on to be named one of five 2014-15 San Diego County Teachers of the Year.

After his passing, social media was filled with people living their thoughts and memories of Berray and his impact.

Students, colleagues, and family will honor Berray with a memorial planned on March 14, Pi Day, at Journey Community Church in La Mesa. Those wishing to attend are asked to wear blue, Berray's favorite color.