A Memorial for Mr. Kite: A Follow-Up


Taken by Chloe DeFilippo

Chloe DeFilippo, Reporter

On October 18, family, friends, and students of Mr. Jonathan Kite gathered in the auditorium to celebrate his legacy. The memorial included loving anecdotes of Mr. Kite told by his friends and colleagues, as well as music performed by the Briar Woods chorus and band. 


The ceremony opened with our principal, Sheila Alzate, a close friend and long-time co-worker of Mr. Kite, who was holding back tears. “As many of you know, Jonathan is a big part of the reason why I am here today,” she began with a shaky voice. “He was the one who encouraged me to try for the position of principal. I had to do the interview the day after he died. When I arrived at the administrative building, I had to take a few minutes in that parking lot to pull myself together. I said to myself, ‘Alright, Jonathan. You’ve got me into this, you better be here with me now.’”


Danilo Argueta, head custodian at Briar Woods, also had a tear-jerking remembrance speech for Mr. Kite, told in Spanish and translated by Ms. Rivera. “On behalf of all the custodians, the loss of our friend has affected us greatly. We don’t know why he has left us, and no one even had the opportunity to say goodbye,” Argueta managed to choke out. “We will miss our dear friend terribly, but we know that he is happy now in Heaven.” 


Other remembrances were given by former student Celine Rosario, main office secretary at Briar Woods Vickie Wilt, BWHS bookkeeper Kerri Calder, and Herndon High School principal Elizabeth Noto.


The Briar Woods chorus and orchestra, under the direction of Mr. Tangredi and Ms. Nelson, also gave wonderful performances of “For Good” and “Bridge Over Troubled Waters.” 


Towards the end of the ceremony, the whole of the auditorium joined together in singing “Thank You for Being a Friend”. 


Afterwards, guests gathered in the main hallway for the launching of Kite’s Kids and The Jonathan Kite Faculty Senior Scholarship, scholarship programs that will help children who show the qualities that Mr. Kite always demonstrated, kindness, strong work ethic, and generosity, receive an education. There, a beautiful plaque hangs. 


“This moment is so bittersweet for us,” Mrs. Alzate said with a sad smile at the unveiling of the plaque. “I am feeling so connected to you all at this time. We really wanted to make sure that Jonathan always has a place here at Briar Woods…and so it is my pleasure to present to you Kite’s Kids.”