Students at Joel Barlow High School opened a Facebook group in memory of the Barlow senior, who was known for his bright attitude, generosity and sense of humor.
"Rob was a big part of Barlow," said Erin Meskers at the Region 9 board meeting on Monday. "It's been extremely difficult for everybody."
But the school pulled together, and the Friday following the tragedy nearly 900 students and teachers honored Rob's memory by dressing to the nines.
"Everyone came together to decorate Rob's locker," Erin said. "Every time I walk by, it brings a smile to my face. ... That's what Rob would have wanted. He wanted us to be happy."
There was a poster board above his locker that people signed, and electric candles for students to illuminate. Rob was a fan of redheads, Meskers said, and a number of girls at school cut off a lock of their red hair for Rob. The students also filled a binder full of memories and pictures in his memory.
Tom McMorran, head of school, also expressed fond memories. "I probably saw Rob every day for 3 ½ years," he said. "I considered him a friend."
Superintendent Michael Cicchetti shared his first impressions of Rob when Cicchetti was new to the school last year. He ran into Rob in the hallway. Rob stopped him, saying, "Hey, you're that new guy, Mr. Cincinnati."
Rob's sense of humor was well-known in school. One student said that Rob was the only person to talk to her in class throughout an entire year. "It's a testament to the kind of person Rob was," McMorran said.
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