High school teacher memorialized

A Cincinnati street was renamed to honor his legacy, catalogued by DIFT major

Photo courtesy of The Catholic Telegraph | Mark Klusman (left) taught at Elder High School from 1967 until his death in December. He was struck by a car while picking up litter. The street leading up to the high school was given the alternate name “Mark Klusman Way” on March 14 as a way to memorialize the teacher.

On March 14, Cincinnati City Council voted to give Vincent Avenue, the street leading up to Elder High School, the alternate name of Mark Klusman Way.

“Knowing the kind of guy he was, I think (the new street name) is good because he wouldn’t want a lot,” sophomore Connor Dermody said. “He’d be the first to be like, ‘Don’t give me anything. I don’t need it. People die.’ So, I think it’s enough that there’s a reminder that he was a big part of the community.”

Mark Klusman began teaching at Elder High School in 1967. He taught mostly computer courses.

In December, he was struck by a car while doing community service and later died of his injuries.

Dermody, a Digital Innovation, Film and Television (DIFT) major, graduated from Elder in 2016 and had class with Klusman for one semester during Dermody’s freshman year.

“He was a good teacher,” Dermody said. “He more taught about life, instead of school, if you know what I mean. He would teach about how to be a good person. He would give us lessons on life and how to live properly and be happy instead of like, ‘Do well on this test, you guys need to know this information for the test.’ It was like, ‘how can this apply to life, how can we be good people and all that.’”

As a part of a production class he’s in, Dermody made a short video about Klusman’s life. The video is a compilation of different interviews with students, faculty and staff at Elder High School and was uploaded to the Xavier DIFT 354 YouTube channel.

“I wanted to do an investigation of Mr. Klusman and how he lived,” Dermody said. “It was something that I did want to do because he did a lot for the Elder community, so that would be a good tribute to him and a good way of honoring him.”

Dermody said that he didn’t have that close of a relationship with Klusman, though he definitely felt the shock of the loss.

“I wasn’t super close to him. My mom was really upset. My aunts and uncles were very close to him and they were all very upset. I think the students at Elder were not taking it great at first, but I guess everyone’s kind of coped with it now. I personally am doing OK. I didn’t know him that well, but it was definitely a shock. It was heartbreaking.”

By: Kevin Thomas ~U.S. & World News Editor~