Remembering LHS Graduate Ross Reynolds


Marine Captain and LHS graduate Ross Reynolds

Yahelyn De Leon Tahual, Reporter

Ross Reynolds was a student from Leominster High School who wanted to be a pilot. He graduated in 2013 and eventually earned his wings as a Marine Corp Captain. 

On March 19, 2022, Reynolds along with 3 other Marines, was killed during NATO training in Norway. The cities of both Leominster and Fitchburg turned out to line the streets of town to welcome home his remains.

He was also honored by his high school family, where veteran teachers lowered the school flag to half-mast upon learning the news of his passing.

Dr. Steven Dubzinski, Principal of Leominster High School, said that he knew Ross very well because he was his guidance counselor at the time Ross was a student at Leominster High School. 

“Ross Reynolds was good young man. He was upstanding, as fun and funny and personal, smart, and just a great representative of Leominster High School,” said Dubzinski.

“There are two parts of this,” he added. “It is awful and very, very, sad when obviously anyone young dies, and there is a great part of this story that Ross was doing something he loved. He only wanted to be a marine pilot. That what his goal in high school. That was what he put in the yearbook, and if there is a silver lining here, it is that he was doing what he loved to do.” 

Ross Reynolds always wanted to be a marine pilot and defend our country. He played volleyball at Leominster High School, but he was more involved in being an Eagle Scout because it was what he liked to do. 

CTEi teacher Todd Rathier said “unfortunately, I didn’t have him at any classes.”

They met each other outside of LHS at a boy scout summer camp called Wanocksett Camp where he served as a master for the Boy Scouts of America for 13 years. He had known Ross for around 10 years. He was a mentor for Ross Reynolds as he worked for his Eagle Scout. 

“Ross was a good student because he had a lot of drive, he was a great kid and awesome,” said  Rathier

“He was a very outgoing kid,” he added. “He had a lot of drive, good leadership abilities, and he was the type of kid I could hand a task to do, and I know it will get done.” 

Rathier was one of the veterans who lowered the flag in Ross’s honor.

Another teacher who spoke fondly of Captain Reynolds was his English teacher Karen Nazor.

“Ross Reynolds was a student in my Honors World Studies and Honors Senior English classes,” she shared. “I was privileged to teach him 2011-12, 2012-13.”

“During the summer in between, he invited me to his Order of the Arrow Ceremony and to witness his Eagle Dance at a Boy Scout Camp in NH,” she said. “He told me to bring my children as he thought they’d enjoy it. He was correct ~ the scouts arriving by canoe at dusk, shooting flaming arrows into a teepee of dry timber, and the drumming during his dance~ it was an enchanting evening. His goal for the night was to have me see him not as a student, but as an Eagle Scout who was months away from earning that distinction. He wanted the experience to inform the college recommendation letter he’d requested that I write. ”

Nazor continued to be in contact with Ross after he graduated.
“After he graduated we stayed in touch via Facebook and mutual friends,” she continued. “As a Junior and Senior, I’d asked Ross to write a 10-year plan as a ‘meet and greet’ narrative writing exercise one year and priming the pump for his college essay the next. In both, he said his goal was to become a pilot for the marines, be married, and have a dog.”
“Over the years and miles, Ross kept me up to date on his educational success and included me, via Zoom, in the ceremony where he was awarded his wings by the Marines,” she added. “I was touched to still be included in his important rights of passage and to see him meeting his goals.”
“In December Ross proposed to his sweetheart, Lana, and they were already in possession of a dog and two cats,” Nazor said. “They eloped in February before his deployment. In March, I wished him a Happy Birthday and within two weeks he was killed in a NATO Training exercise in Norway. Before his body was returned stateside, I left a dreamcatcher for Lana and wrote a note for his family at the Memorial at Lady of Lake Church. Like the rest of his family and friends, I take some comfort in knowing he died doing what he loved and that he achieved the 10-year plan that he’d committed to since the first day as a junior in LHS.”
Captain Ross Reynolds
LHS staff veterans prepare to lower the flag to half-staff in honor of Captain Ross Reynolds (Staff Photo)