Louis Barcelo

Local: UFT
Louis Barcelo - COVID19 - Memorial
Louis Barcelo, Teacher from UFT
* Teacher
* PS/MS 280, the Bronx

As tributes keep pouring in, it seems as if everyone at PS/MS 280, past and present, has a special remembrance of “Mr. B” to share.

Louis Barcelo, 54, spent his entire 32-year career as a physical education teacher at the Bronx school and, as one tribute noted, was “a father figure and positive role model for the students,” always advising them “to make the right choices.”

Louis died on April 16.

”We are blessed to have known this wonderful man,” said Nancy Hernandez-Soto, a longtime colleague and friend and the school’s former chapter leader. “He would say, ‘You have to treat people the way you want to be treated’ and modeled that respect and loving kindness with every single person. He practiced what he preached.”

News 12 reported that dozens of students showed up at the Norwood school after learning he had died to light candles in memory of Mr. B, who only days earlier had reached out to them on a video.

Hernandez-Soto has been collecting an email chain of tributes. As a primary support person for breakfast and lunch at PS/MS 280, Louis was a central figure in everyone’s school day for decades and many people are remembering him.

One, she said, recalled that on the playground, Louis connected the lonely child with the group and always made sure each child was playing fair and with respect.

Another remembered that Louis would lead the cafeteria in singing “Happy Birthday” to make a student feel extra loved.

“I am profoundly saddened by this loss,” one student wrote. “He was an amazing teacher.”