UPDATE: Click here to read about the candlelight vigil held for Principal Mosowitz at Lakeside High School.
That’s the mood that's fallen over Lake Elsinore since hearing the news that former Lakeside High School Principal Jason Roy Moscowitz is gone.
The 37-year-old husband and father d In addition to extended family, friends, students and colleagues, he leaves behind his wife Christine and their three daughters, Noelle, Alexis and Hailey.
“Jason left us a legacy,” said current Lakeside principal Dr. Peter Hopping. “He taught me his work ethic. He created such a culture of high accomplishment and achievement. He believed in the students.”
Hopping, who is also married with three children, has been Moscowitz’s friend and colleague. Both men started out as assistant principals at Santiago High School and eventually came to Lakeside.
Moscowitz helped shape the Lake Elsinore campus. He had been principal there for three years before taking a position this summer in the Hemet Unified School District as director of professional development.
Lakeside High has a mission that together students and faculty will R.I.S.E and L.E.A.D, which stand for Respect, Integrity, Scholarship, Effort, Legacy, Excellence, Ability and Determination.
“Jason lived the school mission,” Hopping said.
Susie Zema, Moscowitz’s former secretary at Lakeside, was full of emotion Friday.
“Jason was so silly, always smiling,” she said. “It was like Jason never left us. He was always calling, asking what we were doing. I am speechless. I really can’t talk about it right now…”
“The educational community lost an advanced thinker, a person with a different mind frame. He was all about the kids,” said Chris Jones, vice president and general manager of the Lake Elsinore Storm.
Jones said he and Moscowitz were neighbors and had become close over the years. Moscowitz was great with kids and he was an exceptional educator who made a mark in the community, Jones explained.
“I hope the students at Lakeside High carry on his legacy,” he said.
Jeff Greene, chief of staff for Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries (R-Lake Elsinore), met Moscowitz at one of Lakeside High’s "Student of the Month" lunches. Greene said Moscowitz’s youthful spirit and boyish looks caught him off guard at first.
“I remember the first time I saw him. I wasn’t totally sure whether he was a student or a teacher, only to find out that he was the principal!” Greene said.
Superintendent of the Hemet Unified School District Dr. Steven Lowder was in Columbus, Ohio, when he got a 3 a.m. call Friday and learned of his colleague’s death.
“I got the first plane out and arrived back in town at noon today,” said Lowder, who talked about Moscowitz’s abilities and aspirations of becoming a school superintendent.
“My goal was to help him achieve that,” Lowder said. “He was so talented...”
is scheduled at Lakeside High School Saturday, Oct. 29 at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome. --Michelle Mears-Gerst