While still celebrating its first boys basketball state championship, Loudoun Valley High School has been saddened by the unexpected death of a veteran custodian.
Today is “LVHS Boys Basketball Team Day” in Purcellville, so declared by Mayor Kwasi Fraser during last week’s Town Council meeting.
While the team’s coach and players were happy about the town honoring their achievement, many said their thoughts were on the recent loss of the school’s longtime custodian, 74-year-old Freddie Wright.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Freddie Wright, our long-time custodial manager at Loudoun Valley High School,” said Loudoun Valley boys basketball team head coach Chad Dawson during last week’s council meeting before leading a moment of silence for Wright.
The tenured custodian’s death came a little more than two weeks before he was to receive an award for 40 years of employment with Loudoun’s school system. He served all four decades at Loudoun Valley.
According to Principal Susan Ross, Wright’s younger brother, Roy, will attend the ceremony on May 11 to accept the award.
On the night before his death, Wright and Dawson were discussing the basketball team’s upcoming banquet—an event Wright was in charge of setting up.
The next morning, Ross informed students of Wright’s passing over the PA system and held a school-wide moment of silence.
“Students kind of immediately got to work trying to figure out what would work best to honor Freddie,” Ross said. “The reason that he was so special to Loudoun Valley is because Loudoun Valley was so special to him.”
“He was a great guy,” said Duron Norris, a senior at Loudoun Valley and captain of the basketball team. “There’s not enough words to explain him.”
Both Dawson and Ross said Wright was exceptional at his job. “He’s always very particular,” Dawson said. “If I had one table slightly out of line, he would let me know about it for sure.”
Loudoun Valley students are now working with Southern States to obtain a tree to plant in Wright’s honor. The school cafeteria also will be named in his honor.
“When they announced that morning that we were going to have a moment of silence for Freddie, you could just hear the kids, they knew who he was,” Dawson said. “He was such an icon.”