Community Remembers SLHS Teacher Who Died in Crash for ‘Spirited Energy’

Local residents and family members are remembering South Lakes High School teacher Simon Chang — who was killed in a motorcycle crash last week — for his spirited energy, enthusiasm and caring personality.

Friends and family have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for Chang’s son Benaiah.

Chang, 38, of Ashburn, died after his motorcycle crashed near a wooded area along Alliance Drive in Fairfax. A groundskeeper discovered his body on August 22. He was reported missing on August 19.

So far, the campaign has collected nearly $13,000.

Simon will be remembered for his spirited energy and enthusiasm. He had a gift of blessing those around him with his encouraging words and humor. His laugh was contagious and brought people together,” wrote Greg Lee, the campaign’s organizer. “He served God with passion and sacrifice wholeheartedly as a missionary for International House of Prayer. He had a passion for positivity influencing the youth as a teacher and basketball coach for South Lakes High School. He was dearly loved by those who knew him.”

Chang was an emotional disabilities teacher and basketball coach at SLHS. Kim Retzer, the school’s principal told Reston Now that Chang will be remembered for his caring personality.

“Mr. Chang was a beloved staff member who touched the lives of the students he taught and coached. He will be remembered by students and staff alike for his caring nature and he will always be a part of the Seahawk family,” Retzer said.

Although Chang had only been with the basketball program for a short time, Andrew Duggan, the school’s assistant director of student activities said he had a big impact on the time.

He was a valuable person in our program for the last three seasons. While his time in our program was short, he had a big impact on our players.  His contribution on the court and classroom will be missed at South Lakes,” Duggan said.

Proceeds from the GoFundMe will facilitate Benaiah’s “healthy growth and development.”

Photo via GoFundMe

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Missing SLHS Teacher Found Dead Near Crashed Motorcycle

A South Lakes High School teacher who was reported missing earlier this month was identified as the motorcyclist found dead Thursday near Fairfax County Parkway.

Simon Chang, 39, of Ashburn, was a special education teacher and a member of the boys basketball coaching staff. He was reported missing on August 16.

The news comes just days before students return to SLHS. Kim Retzer, the school’s principal, wrote the following message to parents about Chang’s passing:

The South Lakes High School community is mourning the death of one of our teachers, Simon Chang. As a special education teacher and member of the boys basketball coaching staff, Mr. Chang was as a beloved member of the Seahawk family. He will be remembered for his positivity and dedication to our staff and students.  He will be greatly missed. We have been in contact with Mr. Chang’s family to offer our condolences and support. 

We feel it is important for you to be aware of this situation so that you can provide any support your children might need.  Our counselors and an FCPS crisis team will be available Monday to meet with any students or staff who need assistance.  All staff will have information on where to direct students who need support. We are taking every step we can to be responsive to the needs of our students and families.  Please reach out if there are ways we can support you.  

Our thoughts are with Mr. Chang’s family and friends during this difficult time.

Police believe Chang was riding a motorcycle from Lee Highway to northbound Fairfax County Parkway when the motorcycle ran off the shoulder of the ramp and drove into a wooded area near a pond.

Chang’s body was found on Thursday, August 23 after a groundskeeper found the wreckage.

Detective do not believe other vehicles were involved in the accident. It is unclear if speed or alcohol were factors.

Photo via Loudoun County Government

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Crime Roundup: Local Police Investigate Motorcycle Crash

Local police are investigating a crash involving two motorcycles that happened in late May.

A driver was turning left at the intersection of Reston Parkway and Lawyers Road on May 25 when another motorcyclist collided into his bike.

Donald Collins was arrested for a DWI and was taken to Reston Hospital Center for treatment, according to an affidavit filed on June 5.

FCPD’s Reston District Station also reported the following minor incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

1600 block of Bentana Way, property from residence

1200 block of Browns Mill Court, document from vehicle

12400 block of Cliff Edge Drive, documents from residence

1700 block of Club House Road, property from business

Frying Pan Road/Thomas Jefferson Drive, wheels from vehicle

1400 block of Kingsvale Circle, cash from vehicle

1800 block of Michael Faraday Drive, purse from location

12200 block of Parkstream Terrace, keys from vehicle

1800 block of Presidents Street, wallet from location

STOLEN VEHICLES:

1400 block of Kingsvale Circle, 2012 Chevrolet Traverse

File photo

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