Buffalo Grove HS mourns teacher who collapsed, died at school
A 39-year-old teacher at Buffalo Grove High School collapsed and died in the school building Monday after students had left for the day, authorities said Tuesday.
Stephanie Ramos, a world languages instructor, died of natural causes, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office, which conducted an autopsy Tuesday.
A video camera in a school hallway captured the moment Ramos suddenly fell into the doorway of an open room at 4 p.m. Monday. It wasn't until 8:30 p.m. that a school staff member discovered Ramos, who remained unresponsive on the ground, according to Buffalo Grove police Lt. Tom Nugent.
Paramedics who arrived a short time later did not find any signs of trauma, Nugent said.
"There was nothing to indicate there was anything nefarious or criminal," he added.
Classes started two hours late Tuesday morning to give Ramos' co-workers time to be together and cope with the news. Counselors from other schools and OMNI Youth Services were on campus all day to meet with students and staff, said Principal Jeff Wardle.
"It's just shock and disbelief," Wardle said.
Ramos, a 1995 Wheeling High School graduate, started her career in Northwest Suburban High School District 214 in 2001 as a substitute teacher at Wheeling, Hersey and Prospect high schools. In 2002, she went on to teach at the Newcomer Center, the district's high school for immigrants new to the English language, according to district spokeswoman Jennifer Delgado.
Ramos took time off to complete her master's degree in 2006, before becoming a teacher at Buffalo Grove in 2007.
Ramos taught some 100 students a year enrolled in Spanish, French and English Language Learners classes. Outside of the classroom, she organized Latino Family Night presentations and the district's summer school ELL program, and ran Buffalo Grove High School's Latino Parent Organization, Delgado said.
Last year, Ramos took a group of students on a spring break trip to France, Spain and England.
"She was someone who was loved and adored by everyone in our building," Wardle said. "She knew her students as good and better than anyone I ever met.
"She really invested her life into her students and was an inspiration to all of us to be the kind of teachers we all want to be."