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Nielson Elementary school staff grieves boy’s death

Nielson Elementary school staff grieves boy’s death

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STEVE DAVIS/The Register-Mail

The sign at Nielson Elementary school displays a message remembering student Ryan Maxwell, 7, who died Saturday from injuries sustained in a dog attack at 675 Whiting Avenue.

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By MATTHEW DUTTON
Posted Mar 03, 2013 @ 05:10 PM
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Ryan Maxwell was the first to offer his pencil when a classmate’s pencil broke, according to his teacher, who, like the rest of Nielson Elementary School, has begun mourning the 7- year-old boy’s death.

While playing in the backyard of a residence he was visiting Saturday, Maxwell was attacked by a dog.

When officers arrived at 675 Whiting Ave. they found the dog still clenching the child. When they relinquished the dog’s hold on the boy, the pit bull turned on the officers before being shot.

Maxwell died at 1:41 p.m. Saturday from wounds he received in the attack. The autopsy, set for Monday afternoon, will reveal more information about the cause of his death.

Displayed on the school sign at Nielson Elementary, where Maxwell was a second grader, is the simple message: “Ryan, We Will Remember You!”

Those who knew him best wanted it to be known just how much the upbeat second grader impacted those around him.
“The sign is meant to recognize how much he will be missed,” Principal Matt LeClere said on Sunday. “He was a good, well-liked boy, and he had lots of friends.”

Few details have been released regarding the attack, but for the faculty and students of the elementary school, the most devastating detail has already surfaced.

“We are very grief-stricken,” said Maxwell’s second-grade teacher, Travis Stecher. “He had developed quite the rapport with the staff and families.”

Stecher said Maxwell was always willing to tidy up the classroom at the end of the day, and that “he aimed to please.”
Maxwell developed strong relationships at school.

“He had a real joy about him, and I think that’s what the kids gravitated toward,” Stecher said. “He was such a happy, go-lucky kid; just a seven year old enjoying life. Ryan will deeply, truly be missed by everyone he ever came in contact with.”

Nielson school has already arranged for grief counselors to be available for the students having a hard time coping with the loss. Faculty members spent most of Sunday calling parents of classmates and delivering the bad news.

“We want to give the parents a chance to discuss it with their kids, instead of it being sprung on them when they walk through the door,” LeClere said.

Ryan Maxwell was the first to offer his pencil when a classmate’s pencil broke, according to his teacher, who, like the rest of Nielson Elementary School, has begun mourning the 7- year-old boy’s death.

While playing in the backyard of a residence he was visiting Saturday, Maxwell was attacked by a dog.

When officers arrived at 675 Whiting Ave. they found the dog still clenching the child. When they relinquished the dog’s hold on the boy, the pit bull turned on the officers before being shot.

Maxwell died at 1:41 p.m. Saturday from wounds he received in the attack. The autopsy, set for Monday afternoon, will reveal more information about the cause of his death.

Displayed on the school sign at Nielson Elementary, where Maxwell was a second grader, is the simple message: “Ryan, We Will Remember You!”

Those who knew him best wanted it to be known just how much the upbeat second grader impacted those around him.
“The sign is meant to recognize how much he will be missed,” Principal Matt LeClere said on Sunday. “He was a good, well-liked boy, and he had lots of friends.”

Few details have been released regarding the attack, but for the faculty and students of the elementary school, the most devastating detail has already surfaced.

“We are very grief-stricken,” said Maxwell’s second-grade teacher, Travis Stecher. “He had developed quite the rapport with the staff and families.”

Stecher said Maxwell was always willing to tidy up the classroom at the end of the day, and that “he aimed to please.”
Maxwell developed strong relationships at school.

“He had a real joy about him, and I think that’s what the kids gravitated toward,” Stecher said. “He was such a happy, go-lucky kid; just a seven year old enjoying life. Ryan will deeply, truly be missed by everyone he ever came in contact with.”

Nielson school has already arranged for grief counselors to be available for the students having a hard time coping with the loss. Faculty members spent most of Sunday calling parents of classmates and delivering the bad news.

“We want to give the parents a chance to discuss it with their kids, instead of it being sprung on them when they walk through the door,” LeClere said.

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