Prior to his work as a journalist, James Foley was a teacher and made a positive impact on his students in Phoenix, Arizona. Joe Dana reports.
(KPNX) As reports of the death of American photojournalist James Foley at the hands of ISIS militants in Iraq reverberated around the world, many in Phoenix, Arizona remembered him for other reasons.
Former students say he changed lives as a teacher at Lowell Elementary School.
"It was easier to be at school then at home. They, at that point in my life, they were more of a family to me," says Marquita Gerardo.
James used real world examples to help kids learn. The most important lesson may have been compassion. Even after Marquita entered high school, james attended her quincenera, and stayed in touch with his students even into their adulthood.
"The last memory we have of him I believe was a couple months before he was captured," she recalls. "He came down for a reunion. It was nothing but jokes and laughs, and many of us had kids."
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-- Joe Dana reports