Brevard Public Schools loses second teacher to COVID-19

Moore taught digital design, marketing at Cocoa Beach Junior/Senior High School

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Brevard Public Schools has lost another teacher to COVID-19, according to News 6 partner Florida Today.

Lewis Wayne Moore, a Cocoa Beach Junior/Senior High School digital design and marketing teacher, died May 25 after a six-week fight with COVID-19, according to his obituary. He was 65 years old.

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A Florida native, Moore graduated from Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach in 1973. He was married to his wife, Ronni Massa Moore, for 44 years. Before teaching at Brevard Public Schools, he ran a Salty Dog franchise. He coached high school girls’ softball and volleyball, and had recently started his own photography business.

“We all grieve when someone from the BPS family dies,” Brevard Public Schools spokesman Russell Bruhn said in a statement. “Mr. Moore was a beloved teacher and mentor to students, and will be greatly missed. We wish nothing but comfort and peace for his family.”

“Lewis Moore will be remembered as a dynamic teacher an amazing coach by the BFT,” Brevard Federation of Teachers President Anthony Colucci said. “His passing due to COVID-19 is a great loss to the Cocoa Beach community.”

It’s not clear how Moore contracted COVID-19. Florida Today was unable to reach his family for comment before press time.

The Florida Department of Health has not released COVID-19 data for schools since May 28. At that time, Cocoa Beach Junior/Senior High School had 32 confirmed cases due to COVID-19, including 29 students and two teachers. One of the cases was listed as “unknown.”

As of June 3 — the last day the Florida Department of Health released its daily updates before discontinuing the practice in favor of a more limited weekly format that didn’t break down deaths by county — 914 people had died of COVID-19 in Brevard County. About 87% of them were over the age of 65.

As of Friday’s weekly COVID-19 report, 42,604 COVID-19 cases had been confirmed in Brevard County. A total of 285,656 people have been vaccinated in Brevard County, representing 47% of Brevard’s population of 611,202, according to the Florida Department of Health.

The first recorded teacher to die of COVID-19, Elizabeth Toro, 52, died in December. She was a reading teacher at Lyndon B. Johnson Middle School in Melbourne. She was described as a committed teacher with an “infectious laugh” who was loved by her students.

COVID-19 precautions in Brevard County schools have been hotly debated at School Board meetings, with the discussion portions of many evenings dominated by criticism of the schools’ mandatory mask policies.

In the 2021-22 school year, masks will not be required for students or staff.