Monroe-Woodbury students mourn beloved coach

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The sudden death of a beloved basketball coach sent shock waves through the Monroe-Woodbury School District Thursday.Basketball coach Jim Taravella, 57, died Wednesday of an undisclosed illness at St. Luke?s Hospital in Newburgh. Taravella was an eighth-grade English teacher at Monroe-Woodbury Middle School, where he spent 34 years educating students. Taravella was also head coach of the boys varsity basketball team.Colleagues say they will remember Taravella as a teacher who reached every child, no matter if the student was struggling in English or was gifted. Many also recalled Taravella?s love of practical jokes and his ability to put together famously fun retirement parties.The staff said Taravella had been sick recently.

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