Teacher Jean Kuczka Identified as Central VPA Shooting Victim

Jean Kuczka was killed in today's school shooting in south St. Louis

Oct 24, 2022 at 4:49 pm
A health teacher is among the two deceased victims of today's shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts School in south St. Louis.

The daughter of Jean Kuczka confirmed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that her mother died in today's shooting.

Kuczka, 61, reportedly shielded students from gunfire when the shooter entered her classroom.
Jean Kuczka - Photo via Central VPA
Photo via Central VPA
Jean Kuczka

Three people were killed and several more were injured when a shooter entered Central Visual and Performing Arts School at approximately 9:10 a.m. on Monday. Police killed the shooter in a gunfire exchange once they entered the school.

Police have yet to identify Kuczka as one of the two deceased victims. As of Monday afternoon, police have only said one adult woman and one teenage girl were killed by gunfire.

Kuczka taught at the high school since 2008. According to her bio on Central VPA High School's website, was a 1979 graduate of Lindbergh High School where she played field hockey.

Before Central VPA, Kuczka taught physical education at Seven Holy Founders in Affton for 16 years. Her career also included time at Carr Lane VPA Middle School, where developed a health program.

Kuczka had five children and seven grandchildren. She lived in Dittmer, Missouri.

In a bio on the school's website, she wrote, "I cannot imagine myself in any other career but teaching. In high school, I taught swimming lessons at the YMCA. From that point on, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I believe that every child is a unique human being and deserves a chance to learn. ... I love teaching Health and Physical Education and guiding students to make wise decisions. Respect is my favorite word!"