EL PASO, Texas -- The assistant principal of Cathedral High School has died of complications from being infected by Covid-19, officials with El Paso's Catholic Diocese announced with "great sadness" on Saturday.
Longtime educator Gerardo “Gerald” Gamez, 55, became the latest of at least 1,758 El Pasoans as of Saturday who had died as a result of contracting the virus; the actual death toll is believed to be much higher as more than 500 deaths are currently under investigation by local health officials.
The Diocese said Gamez was first diagnosed with the coronavirus while on bereavement leave from Cathedral High School in early January.
“We are in absolute shock at the loss to our Cathedral High School community,” reacted Cathedral's principal, Adolfo Sanchez.
“Mr. Gamez was beloved member, not only of our Cathedral community, but of the greater educational community in El Paso," Sanchez said, noting that Gamez had worked as an educator for 27 years in numerous Borderland public schools before coming to the Catholic high school two years ago as its assistant principal.
Sanchez described Gamez as "the definition of what a nice guy is." He was a "devout Catholic" who was admired by many and took a heartfelt interest in the success of the students he mentored over the years, Sanchez explained.
Gamez left behind a wife, three children and a grandchild, the Diocese indicated.
Before Cathedral High, Gamez had served in the Ysleta Independent School District as an assistant principal at Del Valle and Eastwood high schools. His career also included stints as a counselor in the San Elizario and El Paso independent schools districts, as well as at Hanks High School in the Ysleta district.