Sophomore’s passing stuns and saddens community

September 24, 2012 — by Edward Dong and Kelly Liu
Audrie
Photo by Wren Sutterfield
Just past noon on Wednesday, Sept. 12, principal Paul Robinson announced the death of sophomore Audrie Taylor Pott. Shocked students and teachers turned to each other for support, and grief counselors were brought in to help the school cope with the tragedy.
Pott, 15, passed away that day after taking her own life.
Friends and strangers alike responded by laying flowers on a table outside the library, where many gathered to pen short messages on posters.
“Students were very thoughtful in their respect for [Pott] and her family,” assistant principal Kerry Mohnike said. “The school did a remarkable job responding to the tragedy.”
In her memory, hundreds of students and dozens of staff members wore teal, Pott’s favorite color, and other shades of blue on Friday, Sept. 14. Many in the local community, including students from local high schools, participated in the event, which they learned about through Facebook.
The next day, a memorial service was held for Pott at West Valley College.
“The service was full of friends, family and classmates,” said close friend Amanda Le, a sophomore. “You could tell she was loved by so many people.”
At the service, attendees reminisced as they watched a touching slideshow in remembrance of Pott.
“The memorial was a beautiful event honoring a beautiful friend,” sophomore Alex Ferrari said. “When the slideshow came on, it really hit me that I would never see that perfect face again. For the first time, it began to feel real.”
Those who knew Pott spoke of her warm and vibrant personality.
“I’ll always remember how much laughter she brought to everybody. There was never a dull moment with her,” Le said. “She saw the very best in people and genuinely loved people unconditionally.” 
Pott had many close friends.
“She always called me ‘Mo’ or ‘Chrissy-mo,’” sophomore Christina Miroyan said. “She had nicknames for everyone.”
Several of Pott’s classmates recognized and cherished her 
creative side.
“She was always the one doodling on her papers during class,” Ferrari said. “Every project that involved art Audrie would take to the next level. She would make sure it was perfect.”
Pott, who began playing soccer at age 2, participated in both school and club teams. She also trained horses as a ranch volunteer throughout the eighth grade, according to Le.
“She would complain about how much of a pain [helping at the ranch] was, but I always knew how much she loved it,” Le said. 
Pott’s Spanish teacher Gina Rodriguez remembers her student for “her kind demeanor and her smile.”
“She was such a beautiful girl. I think of her every day when I look at her desk,” Rodriguez said. “I wish she could have seen so many of us in teal in her honor. She had no idea how loved she was in this community.”