‘He was a gentle giant’: Beloved Paterson principal remembered months after losing battle with COVID-19
Dr. Gerald E. Glisson, a beloved principal in Paterson, is being remembered nearly five months after losing his battle with COVID-19.
"You know, every sports season, it just, it breaks your heart,” says Paterson Superintendent Eileen Shafer.
Coach, athlete, and educator were just some of the many titles Glisson held at Eastside High School.
"He was a man of integrity,” says Shafer. “He was a gentle giant, and he cared about every single student in this district."
A ceremony was held at Pennington Park Soccer Field before a game between Eastside and Kennedy to honor a life well lived.
"He had a passion for kids, and one of the things we constantly talked about is, what can we do for the next person?" says David Cozart Jr, assistant superintendent.
Dr. Glisson died in May after being diagnosed with COVID-19. He was principal for around three years, but his impact on his students will last a lifetime.
"Going to their house at night,” says Shafer. “Checking in on them. Bringing them clothes if there was a fire in their home. Getting them a meal if they hadn't eaten. Lending them money."
Family, friends, students, and colleagues wore masks with his picture, vowing to never forget Glisson -- a man so many looked up to.
"He was such a wonderful person who truly loved our children, who truly wanted to make sure everything was being done the right way, and he truly was there,” says Paterson Councilwoman Ruby Cotton.