Death of Vista Heights teacher shakes Rockwell community


Dylan Thornton was killed in a car crash Tuesday. He taught at Vista Heights Middle School.

A much-loved husband, father, and teacher died on his way to school September 12.

Dylan Thornton, a teacher at Vista Heights Middle School, was part of a multi-car collision that ended tragically. Thornton was on his way to work at the time of the crash.

Thornton’s funeral was held Monday, where more than 3,000 students, teachers, faculty, family, and friends gathered to celebrate his life.

Thornton has been an influence to the Saratoga Springs community, and an influence in the lives of students at Rockwell.

Students who have previously attended Vista Heights Middle School were most likely to be a student of Mr. Thornton and could see not only his passion for teaching, but his passion for “Star Wars” as well. To honor Mr. Thornton, students dressed up in Star Wars t-shirts on September 13.

Many Rockwell students loved Thornton and were devastated to hear the news of his passing.

 “He always put everyone else before himself,” said Rockwell junior Kaylee Birnbaum. “He was an awesome teacher.”

Thornton cared about each and every one of his students.

“He was the nicest, most genuine guy,” said Rockwell senior CJ Jacobson. “He was by far the best teacher as Vista Heights Middle School.”

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