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'Beloved' Henrico High School teacher, coach dies unexpectedly

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Posted at 1:35 PM, Oct 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-08 13:44:09-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Henrico County High School families were notified that beloved teacher and coach Johann Odom passed away unexpectedly Wednesday.

"I am heartbroken to be writing about something that has shocked and saddened our community," principal Karin G. Castillo-Rose wrote in an email to the community. "Mr. Odom was a caring teacher who loved working with his students and colleagues."

Odom was a Career and Technical Education teacher and Cross Country and Track and Field coach at the high school. The Navy veteran also previously taught at Elko Middle School and Varina High School.

"Mr. Odom was a strong supporter of Henrico HS extracurricular programs and he loved wearing his Henrico Spirit gear or his Omega Psi Phi fraternity swag," Castillo-Rose continued. "You often saw him wearing either or, or both at the top of the stadium stairs, his 'spot', on the stands of our warrior basketball games, or as he cheered on his track athletes."

Colleagues described Odom as a great soul, a talker, and someone who could have taught a master class in kindness.

"We have been in touch with his wife, who gave her blessing for us to share this message with our community. At the same time, we are also respecting her privacy under these tragic circumstances," Castillo-Rose wrote.

The school system did not reveal the circumstances surrounding Odom’s death.

Counselors and school administration will meet with each of Odom’s students Thursday and Friday, according to the email.

Families and students can make a virtual Card for Odom’s family here.