Many neighbors in Bellevue, Iowa are in shock tonight after learning two of their teachers died last night.
They are 57-year-old Kenneth Anderson and 60-year-old Mark Anderson.
The men were found dead in a Davenport pool Monday night.
Police are calling the deaths accidental.
Both taught together in the Bellevue community school district for several years.
Mark moved to North Scott and retired there in 2014.
Ken was still a teacher at Bellevue when he died.
Exactly one month from today, Ken would’ve been greeting students on the first day of school.
Instead, many in the small town of about 2,500 are shaken by the news of his death.
Khloe Seiders is one of them.
“‘Oh my gosh,’ I didn’t want to believe it. I still– I still don’t believe it,” she says.
She got a text this morning from a friend that their former teacher had died.
The 2019 graduate had Ken three times during her time at Bellevue High.
“I would just go in during my free blocks when I wasn’t busy and just tell him what was on my mind. It could literally just be the dumbest thing but he would just sit there and just listen,” Seiders says.
Seiders says she’s one of countless students who looked forward to class with Ken.
“Since this has happened, everybody has said, he’s my favorite teacher,” she says.
“He always just made me laugh. We were always laughing in his class, all the time.”
Ken had been in the district for 33 years.
“He didnt want anyone to know just how much of a sweet and soft person he was, but oh man, he was,” Seiders says.
Superintendent Tom Meyer knew him for 15 of them.
“He had a very energetic, strong, positive personality and he could always laugh at something… And I think passed that along to his students,” Meyer says.
He says between teaching and coaching, Ken saw nearly 200 kids on a daily basis.
“He valued every student he worked with, whether it was in the classroom, on the court, on the field, on the track,” Meyer says.
Meyer and Seiders say he left an impact on all of them.
“Males, females, it didn’t matter. People respected Mr. Anderson. Our students truly will miss him,” Meyer says.
“It’s like he went into work everyday wanting to make a difference. And he did,” says Seider.
“That’s a huge gift. You don’t get teachers like that a lot. So it’s really cool that I got to experience it,” she says.
Bellevue’s superintendent says they are organizing a therapy session at the middle and high school tomorrow.
A counselor will be available for students and staff who want to share stories of their teacher or just express their grief.
That runs from 9 a.m. until the early evening.