Western Heights Middle School media specialist dies after crash

Dean Schroeder remembered as a 'great guy' who was 'very animated' when he read Dr. Seuss to students

December 23, 2012|By JULIE E. GREENE |

One of the two men who died Friday after a head-on crash in Chambersburg, Pa., was a media specialist at Western Heights Middle School, Western Heights Principal Michael Kuhaneck confirmed Sunday.

Dean Schroeder was the media specialist at the middle school in Hagerstown’s West End, Kuhaneck said.

“He was a great guy, loved kids. He worked very hard,” Kuhaneck said Sunday morning.

“He did everything. He ran the (student) morning announcement crew for the school,” Kuhaneck said.

Schroeder also supported technology for the classrooms.

As a media specialist, Schroeder taught students how to best access online resources, Kuhaneck said.

“Dr. Seuss is never going to be the same without Mr. Schroeder,” said Kuhaneck, who described Schroeder as being “very animated” as he read Seuss books to students.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, Schroeder, 51, of Chambersburg, was driving north on Philadelphia Avenue in a 2010 Nissan Versa.

Samuel L. Naugle, 68, was driving south in a 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt, police said.


The crash happened at about 4:20 p.m. Friday.

State police said Schroeder’s car drifted into the southbound lane, south of Tyler Drive.

Naugle, who state police said is from the Chambersburg area, tried to avoid the oncoming car by veering toward a berm off the right side of the road.

However, the Nissan’s front driver-side bumper struck the Chevrolet’s front driver-side bumper and both cars spun around.

Franklin County Coroner Jeffrey R. Conner wrote in a news release that he pronounced Schroeder dead at the scene at 4:50 p.m. Friday.

A doctor pronounced Naugle dead at Chambersburg Hospital at 5:18 p.m.

Both men were wearing lap and seat belts, and their cars’ air bags activated, police said in a news release.

Kuhaneck said he planned to have a crisis response team at the middle school when school resumes Jan. 2 after the winter break.

According to Schroeder’s Facebook page, he had been a library media specialist/technology coordinator at Western Heights since July 2002.

His Facebook page lists him as a 1980 graduate of Mariposa County (Calif.) High School; says he went to Merced Community College in California; studied elementary education at Bryn Athyn College in Pennsylvania; and attended graduate school at Towson University.

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