Philando Castile's coworker: 'Kids loved him'

- Philando Castile worked as a cafeteria supervisor at J.J. Hill Montessori School in St. Paul for the past 10 years. Wednesday night, Castile was shot and killed by a St. Anthony police officer during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minn. The aftermath of the shooting was streamed live on Facebook by Castile's girlfriend.  

"Kids loved him," a coworker said in a statement through St. Paul Public Schools. "He was smart, over-qualified. He was quiet, respectful, and kind."

Statement from Saint Paul Public Schools

Saint Paul Public Schools and its staff grieve the tragic death of a former student and current employee, Philando Castile.

He graduated from Central High School in 2001 and had worked for Saint Paul Public Schools (SPPS) since he was 19 years old, beginning in 2002, in the Nutrition Services Department.

Mr. Castile was promoted to a supervisory position two years ago and was currently working in one of our schools during the summer term.

Colleagues describe him as a team player who maintained great relationships with staff and students alike. He had a cheerful disposition and his colleagues enjoyed working with him. He was quick to greet former coworkers with a smile and hug.

One coworker said, “Kids loved him. He was smart, over-qualified. He was quiet, respectful, and kind. I knew him as warm and funny; he called me his 'wing man.' He wore a shirt and tie to his supervisor interview and said his goal was to one day 'sit on the other side of this table.’”

Those who worked with him daily said he will be greatly missed.

"I am deeply sorry for his family and for their loss. He's worked in SPPS for many years and he graduated from our district, so he was one of our own," said SPPS Superintendent Valeria Silva.

Grief counselors will be available for staff and students as needed or requested.

The Saint Paul Public Schools family extends its deepest sympathy to Mr. Castile's family and loved ones.

Statement from St. Paul Federation of Teachers

“The St. Paul Federation of Teachers is shocked and saddened by the unjustifiable and fatal shooting of Philando Castile, a beloved member of the Saint Paul Public Schools community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family.

Philando was a cafeteria supervisor at JJ Hill Montessori, where he touched the lives of students and staff daily. He was a graduate of Central High School and a loved and respected employee.

Structural racism is real and present in our country and our community. We are horrified by the number of black citizens and youth dying as a result of police shootings. These are incidences our students are watching and living daily. We can, and must, do better.

We are encouraging our members and members of the community to attend the vigil for the Castile family at 5:30 this evening at JJ Hill School, 998 Selby Ave., St. Paul.”

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