The news site of Miami Palmetto Senior High School

In Memory of Alan An

December 12, 2018

On Dec. 1, 2018, senior Alan An passed away at the age of 18.

An was known throughout the school as quiet in large groups, but funny with a dry sense of humor in individual conversations.

“If you got him one-on-one, he was jokey,” pre-calculus teacher Cheryl Ruffin said. “He would be the first in the room and joke about how he was not doing well in math.”

Although An did not enjoy math, he loved music and was always seen with earbuds in his ears. An often came out of his shell to talk about his favorite pastimes, gaming and anime.

“He loves anime,” Japanese teacher Meiko Avello said. “So we were talking about anime and all the sudden he was talking and he was so active.”

When An joined the Japanese class family, he adopted a Japanese name for himself.

“All my Japanese students, they all have Japanese names, and his name was Onigiri, which means rice ball,” Avello said. “That’s what he wanted. He chose his Japanese name.”

His teachers and classmates remember him as intelligent.

“He was incredibly smart,” senior Francesco Gandolfo said. “He passed all his tests with flying colors.”

Guidance counselor Amanda Pinero-Trombly and a grief counselor visited all of his classrooms to console the students after his loss. Several students reached out to Pinero-Trombly to try to offer condolences to his family.

“Although he was among a small circle, that circle has come forward,” Pinero-Trombly said.

Gandolfo nominated An for a Senior Spotlight in the yearbook in honor of his memory.

“I was thinking of nominating him because he was a student, and we shouldn’t ignore that he was there with us,” Gandolfo said.

The loss of An weighs heavily in the classrooms he left behind.

“It didn’t matter if he was quiet or not, we acknowledged him,” Avello said. “He was in our family. It’s like we lost a family member.”

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