NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City’s Department of Education reports 50 employees have died of COVID-19 related illness since the outbreak began.
According to coronavirus tracking from March 16 to April 10, officials say the toll includes 21 teachers and 22 classroom aides across all five boroughs.READ MORE: Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers, Department Of Education Workers Put On Hold By Federal Judge
The United Federation of Teachers union is posting memorial messages on its website about educators lost during the pandemic.
CBS2’s Scott Rapoport shares two such people in remembrance.
To those who knew her, 63-year-old Sharon Kaufman was a giver – a selfless, beautiful soul who always thought of others.
She was a special ed teacher at PS 31 on Staten Island where that generosity of spirit was well known.
Her family says Sharon would often buy the kids notebooks and pencils with her own money to make sure everyone had what they needed.
Sharon was married to her longtime sweetheart Lenny Kaufman. They met as teenagers on Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn and were together ever since.
They moved to Staten Island and had a beautiful daughter, Lauren, who says since her mom was a little kid she loved to dance – especially disco.
When Sharon heard the beat, “she would shake it.”
Sharon got sick and was hospitalized on March 15. A few days later she was diagnosed with coronavirus, and she died on April 6.READ MORE: New York Weather: CBS2’s 9/26 Sunday Morning Forecast
A guy with the big smile, 47-year -old David Behrbom was optimistic, generous and loyal.
“Mr. B,” as he was known, was one of the coolest teachers at PS 55 in the Bronx where he taught physical education.
The joy of his life was his family, wife Elizabeth and his kids Alex and Eliana.
He was a life-long Yankees fan who worshiped Reggie Jackson and a huge lover of old-school hip hop, especially Run DMC and Public Enemy.
In mid-March, Berhbom was diagnosed with a treatable form of leukemia and started chemotherapy.
Then came coronavirus. He was hospitalized in late-March.
His family says he was awaiting a chance to undergo convalescent plasma therapy to replenish his immune system.
He died on April 5.
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