Pleasant Valley mourns grad lost in Florida shooting
Chris Hixon’s Pleasant Valley High School year book photo from 1986. Hixon was among the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Florida on Wednesday. CONTRIBUTED
Pleasant Valley High School is mourning the loss of alumnis Chris Hixon, who was identified among those killed in the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday.
Hixon was the athletic director at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.
A 1986 graduate of Pleasant Valley High School, Hixon wrestled, played football, ran track was involved in student government. But even as a student, he was so much more.
“I remember Chris well,” former Pleasant Valley High School principal John Gress said. “He was one of those kids who really got involved in everything. Anything that needed to be done, he just jumped in and he did it.”
“Chris was a leader. I remember hearing that he went into the Navy, I can see that. That would be something that he would do. And I read that he was an athletic director and he would be a leader there as well.”
News sources close to Parkland state that Hixon was one of the first to be identified after a former student entered the school brandishing an AK-15 semi-automatic rifle and numerous magazines. Seventeen people were killed and up to 50 others were wounded. The shooter was apprehended and is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder.
“We heard about the shooting and it became an ongoing dialog all afternoon,” Pleasant Valley High School principal Matthew Triolo said. “Then we heard that one of those killed had attended PV, and we were speechless.”
“I can see his young face then,” Gress said. “And I see a photo of him now. He looks different, but you can tell he is the same helper.”
Gress stressed that communication with students was the key to preventing tragedies such as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shootings.
“These kids are the eyes and ears of the school, they know what is going on,” Gress said. “They need to know that they can talk and share what they see, even if it turns out to be nothing.”
Pleasant Valley School District’s Facebook page posted the following message of condolensce on Thursday afternoon:
“The Pleasant Valley School District is sad to report the loss of one of our own. Chris Hixon, a 1986 graduate of Pleasant Valley High School, was one of the victims of yesterday’s Broward County shooting. Chris was serving as the Athletic Director of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida and will be fondly remembered by many members of the Pleasant Valley community. By all accounts, Chris was an outstanding educator and role model for his students. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.”
Hixon leaves behind a wife, Debbi and a son.