Antioch High grad killed in Ethiopia recalled as kind humanitarian – Chicago Tribune

Those who knew Sharon Gray loved her compassion, infectious laugh and determination to make the world a better place.

The death of Gray, 31, a researcher who was killed this week in an apparent rock attack by protesters in Ethiopia, shook family, friends and mentors who remembered her as a humanitarian, even during her high school days in suburban Chicago.

“If there was some kind of humanitarian effort under way, whether it was a food drive or a clothing drive, Sharon was either organizing it or she was participating in it,” said Mick Torres, who was an assistant principal at Antioch Community High School when Gray graduated in 2003. “This was a woman who was just beginning to make her mark in this world, and she would have done some amazing things.”

Gray was especially gifted in the sciences and planned to use that knowledge to better society, said Torres, a Gray family friend who now works as an administrator at neighboring Community High School District 128 in Vernon Hills.

“She was going to feed the world,” he said. “She was going to save the planet. If anybody had a vision and a plan for making that happen, that was her. She was just an inspiration to everybody.”

Jim McKay taught Gray in his honors physics class at Antioch High.

“She was one of those students that kept me on my toes, and I thoroughly enjoyed that,” said McKay, now superintendent of Community High School District 117, which includes Antioch High. “She demonstrated a skill set that not everybody demonstrates, and threaded through that was this kind, very, very happy, full person.”

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