Proctor math teacher mourns the loss of her colleague


UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - On Sunday, the Utica City School community began the mourning process of the loss of one of their teachers, Catherine Koestner.

Koestner died Saturday as a result of a shooting at the Forge Motel in Old Forge. Police have not yet determined the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

Koestner taught math at Proctor High School and had worked in the district for four years.

NEWSChannel 2 spoke with a friend and colleague of Catherine, Gina Talerico-Giruzzi. Talerico-Giruzzi was Koestner's mentor when she began teaching, were friends outside of work and stayed in touch over the summer.

Talerico-Giruzzi said, "We hit off right off the bat, we became very good friends and she nicknamed me 'Mama'. She was just full of life, she was a great teacher, a wonderful teacher, a wonderful teacher."

The tragedy comes within days of school resuming for the year. Talerico-Giruzzi said, "She was just a fun-loving, great person and she is going to missed. We were a close department. It's going to be tough to go back to school next week."

The investigation into Koestner's death is continuing. An autopsy is scheduled.

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