NHS students honor teacher, soldier at game

Published 9:02 am Wednesday, September 5, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Northview High School NJROTC, band and cheerleaders did not allow rain, thunder and lightning stop them from honoring their beloved Major James G. Ross.
According to the NHS dean of students, Gregory Bass, the band paid special tribute to Ross, who lost his life last Wednesday in a motorcycle accident.
"The band did a special presentation," Bass said. "They formed an oak leaf on the field, which represents his rank when he was in the Marine Corp. There was also a moment of silence for him."
Despite the ominous weather, Bass felt the tribute for Ross was a success yet emotional.
"It went very well," he said. "They (the crowd) were solemn."
Ross was killed in a motorcycle accident on his way to work last Wednesday morning. He was the naval science II and III teacher at NHS, as well as an assistant with the cross country team.
NHS principal Gayle Weaver said the students have shown a significant amount of remorse since losing their beloved Major Ross.
"Some senior cadets were more visibly upset than some of the other students," she said. "They all got pretty close to Major."
Ross had been at NHS since 2002. He was not only a naval science teacher, but was also in charge of the NJROTC program.
Weaver said Ross was very healthy and also patriotic as he was a retired Marine Corps Major.
"He was our wellness coordinator for the district," she said. "He was also instrumental in helping the community with ROTC cadets. He always volunteered to drive a bus when we needed him to and he assisted with cross country this year. He was the epitome of a marine, he was very, very patriotic. He believed in the U.S. military and was a great supporter of the President and a true Republican. He was very much involved in following politics. He loved his country, all things military and everything the military stands for."
The Florida Highway Patrol said Ross was riding his motorcycle in the Jay, Fla. area on State Road 89, traveling north. It was about 6:40 a.m. when a Jeep sports utility vehicle, driven by Barry Dean Shouse, pulled out in front of Ross. Even though Ross was wearing his helmet, he was declared deceased at 7:02 a.m. by a paramedic on the scene.
Shouse suffered minor injuries.
Bass said Ross' viewing was held yesterday in Milton, Fla. and his funeral is today with a private full military ceremony at Barrancas Cemetary in Pensacola.

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