EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Two Las Cruces Public Schools educators have died of complications related to COVID-19, according to an LCPS news release.
Chris Sarmiento, 33, was a middle school social studies teacher and a football coach at Vista Middle School. Mike Brewer, principal at Vista until his retirement in December, said Sarmiento’s passion for teaching was evident in his daily work.
“Chris was a good, all-around person who was 100-percent there for his students every day,” said Brewer. “As coworkers, we become connected very quickly, and this loss will be deeply felt in the Vista family.”
Over the weekend, Beatrice Ramirez, a nutrition services employee at Valley View Elementary, died after battling COVID-19. She was 58. Ramirez began her career with LCPS in 2002 as a cook at Doña Ana Elementary School and transferred to Columbia Elementary in 2003. She had been in the kitchen at Valley View for the past 13 years.
“Miss Betty was an amazing coworker,” said Eloisa Solis, the principal at Valley View. “When I first came to Valley View almost five years ago, Miss Betty came to my office to tell me how much she loved her job, and that it was the kids at Valley View who motivated her to get up and walk to work each day.
“She loved her kids, loved to cook for them, and was always there when our students needed to share something or needed guidance. She often called herself ‘just a cafeteria worker’ but I often reminded her that she was a chef to our kids. She took pride in her work knowing that she would be feeding them for the day.”
Sarmiento and Ramirez are the sixth and seventh LCPS employees lost to COVID-19 since November 2020. None of the LCPS employees were working in school buildings at the time of their illness.