Joel RosenzweigIn an emergency faculty meeting this morning, teachers were given the sad news that history teacher and student council sponsor Joel Rosenzweig died yesterday. Teachers shared this information with their first period classrooms, but the details of his death are not known.

Students report that the school is somberly quiet today, as Rosenzweig was a well known and influential teacher. He began at LHHS in fall 2000, starting out as a theater arts teacher because of his background in the TV motion picture industry. Rosenzweig also was the faculty sponsor for Lake Cinematique, a film club that has garnered many awards at Dallas’ 24 Hour Video Race over the years, and for the Alley Cats, the school’s bowling team.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced, says Richardson ISD spokesman Tim Clark. He adds that Principal Frank Miller is visiting with the family to determine their comfort level with  publicizing arrangement details or if they want to have something specifically for LHHS students and staff. The district does have a counseling team at LHHS today, Clark says.

In a story we published in 2003, not long after Rosenzweig started teaching at the school, his admiration for LHHS already was evident: “It’s a miracle campus,” he said. “The student body and parents are just among the best I have ever seen in my life. Everything you have ever heard that is going on in public education that is bad, it doesn’t happen at Lake Highlands. And everything that is good is there three- or four-fold. It’s just amazing.”

Look for a student tribute to Rosenzweig on our website later today.

Carol Toler and Lauren Frank contributed to this article.