By Eric Klein and Kevin Deutsch
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Two beloved Bronx school teachers are among at least 50 New York City educators who have died from COVID-19, according to the Department of Education.
Chris Mondal, a 30-year-old paraprofessional who taught at PS 46 for eight years, and David Behrbom, 47, who taught physical education at PS 55 for over 15 years, both succumbed to the disease this month.
“Chris was an amazing person,” said United Federation of Teachers Chapter Leader Matthew Carioscia. “He worked with our most challenging students and he reached them by showing kindness and understanding.”
Among Mondal’s interests were music, photography, and basketball, UFT officials said. He was an assistant boys basketball coach in the CHAMPS program, run by the DOE and Montefiore Medical Center.
“Chris never said no,” Carioscia said. “He was always willing to go above and beyond to help others. He was a wonderful person who will be missed by the entire PS 46 community.”
Behrbom was a UFT member for 21 years, his union said. Each spring, he organized the “Olympic Games” at PS 55 that brought together students for a full day of athletic competition. He also taught math and health education.
Colleagues said he loved old-school hip-hop and coached baseball and soccer in Westchester County, where he lived with his family.
“He was a very warm and friendly teacher who always offered a hand to anyone in need,” said Deborah Morgan, UFT chapter leader at PS 55.