Paul Samaras, a former MC track coach and science teacher, died from a heart attack on July 21, 2013 at the age of 62. He taught for over 30 years at MC, and substituted after he retired.
While many of the current students at MC don’t remember Samaras, some teachers do, including Lee Raskin and Debbie Stenger.
“I met Mr. Samaras in 1999, so I knew him for 14 years,” Stenger said. “We were in the same [science] department.
Samaras taught chemistry, physical science, geo science, and biology.
“I knew him fairly well,” Stenger said. “I would describe him as a person who was very detail oriented, and he was kind of a perfectionist. He had things a certain way and was very organized and neat. He ran a tight ship.”
Raskin described Samaras’ teaching style similarly.
“He was a very structured person and very demanding of his students, but his students generally did very well,” Raskin said.
Samaras died at home from a heart attack and this unexpected death surprised many.
“I was shocked because he’s only a little bit older than I am, so it makes you think about your own death.” Raskin said.
A celebration of Samaras’ life was held at Old Poway Park on July 26, and memories can be made in his name for the Honor Flight Network or the American Heart Association. At MC, Samaras will continue to be remembered.
“I would just say that he had an interesting sense and unique sense of humor,” Stenger said. “I think he was just a very caring person and that’s my favorite thing about him. It [his death] wasn’t expected and it was very sad. We lost a great educator that day, and he will be missed.”