Athens Review, Athens, Texas

In the News

June 16, 2010

Coach phones newspaper editor before death

Mount Pleasant (Tx.) —

John Qualls, a math and science teacher at Mount Pleasant High School, was found dead late Sunday afternoon after Mount Pleasant Police officers responded to a welfare concern report.

Mount Pleasant ISD Supt. Terry Myers said that Qualls, who had coached girls softball at the high school for the past two years, had already signed his teaching contract for the next school year, but was not going to continue as softball coach.

“That was a decision that was made some time ago,” said Myers, adding that it was a “mutual decision”.

Myers said the decision to relieve Qualls of his coaching duties was the result of “differing philosophies”, but he had been expected to return to the classroom. “As far as we knew he was coming back,” he said.

According to Detective Sergeant Sharon Cary of the Mount Pleasant Police Department, a concerned citizen called at 4:24 p.m. Sunday regarding Qualls.

The caller did not have an address for Qualls, and it took a few minutes to locate an address, after which officers responded to a home in the 200 block of W. 18th St.

Upon arriving, there was no answer at the front door, but officers found an open access and entered to find Qualls deceased.

The officers recovered a small caliber handgun; there were no signs of foul play, reports Cary, and the wound appears to be self-inflicted.

Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Paula Dyke was called to the scene, and Qualls was officially pronounced dead at 4:47 p.m.

Dr Judith Saxton, MPISD Public Information Officer, said Monday morning the “Mount Pleasant ISD is saddened by the loss of John Qualls. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. We offer our sincere condolences to them and we are praying for them at this time of their loss.”

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