Local Families Mourn Death of Autism Teacher

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PANAMA CITY BEACH- Some local families are mourning the sudden death of an autism teacher.

Breakfast point academy teacher Jason Mann died just before Christmas of a sudden illness.

Local kids will have to adjust at the start of the new year.

Parents say 41-year-old Jason Mann made a huge impact on the lives of their children. Mann recently received his full teaching certification.

He taught young children with autism. And now that he's gone, some local parents are grieving his loss.

Parent Allison Albano said, "He didn't realize the gift he had, a very humble man but he had a gift. He had a lot more to give and we needed him a lot longer."

Parent Zsuzsanna Darvai said, "He was just a wonderful person a very genuine and he had a special gift to be able to work and teach our children."

Allison Albano and Zsuzsanna Darvai have autistic children who were in Mann's class.

Both parents say teaching an autistic child is tough, but with Mann they say there is noticeable improvement in their children's learning.

Albano says Mann used drawings as a way to teach the children in his class.

"She (daughter) loves drawing so as long as she was doing her class work he would draw until his hand hurts and he was an amazing artist,” said Albano.

Allison says she still hasn't told her daughter about her teacher's death. She says she's not sure that she will understand

"We'll probably just tell her that he's gone. And I'm really not sure what school is going to be like for her,” said Albano.

Right now both families are just remembering what a great teacher, and person Jason Mann was.

"He did change our children's life tremendously and he would have been able to change the lives of other children as well,” Darvai said.

Friends have set up a memorial account to help pay Mann's funeral expenses. Tomorrow all accounts will become active at any Hancock Bank branch.

Funeral services for Mann are scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday at Southerland’s Funeral Home.