Counselors help students, teachers cope with death of student

SARA VANDEN BERGE sara.vandenberge@empiretribune.com

Grief counselors are on hand at Dublin Intermediate trying to help students, teachers and faculty cope with the death of a 6th grader.

Pablo Marquez, 13, was killed Tuesday evening when the horse he was riding was struck by an 18-wheeler in downtown Dublin.

Dr. Rodney Schneider, superintendent of DISD, said the district is working in conjunction with Stephenville ISD for additional counseling if needed.

"Local ministers and counselors are on campus and are fanning out to help our kids," Schneider said Wednesday morning.

Principal Rebecca Owen said students are "appropriately going through the grieving process."

"The students are asking for and getting the help they need," Owen said.

Schneider described Marquez as a "leader" in the school. He was a member of FOR (Friends of Rachel), a group charged with instilling compassion, leadership and respect among classmates. The school district kicked off Rachel's Challenge this week and more than 500 members of the community showed up as news of Marquez's death spread.

"Despite the tragedy, there was a lot of positive energy there that night," Schneider said. "I am confident our community will come together to make sure our kids progress and heal from this."

Marquez was one of 15 students selected to participate in training for Rachel's Challenge, Owen said.

"The purpose of this program is to start a chain reaction of compassion in this world and he was a part of that," Owen said. "The thing I will remember most about him is his beautiful smile. He could light up a room with it."