By Brian Entin
WELLINGTON, FL (WFLX) - Students at Emerald Cove Middle School in Wellington left class Tuesday devastated. They learned their band director, Matthew Jensen, was found dead in Lake Okeechobee.
Jensen was missing since Sunday when his boat was found near Pahokee. "He could play every instrument in the band, and he was very talented. I just can't believe he is gone," student Emily Shecter said.
Mr. Jenson spent over 30 years working for the Palm Beach County School District teaching music. He was the band director at Emerald Cove ever since the school opened. "In the beginning, I wasn't very good. I never played the clarinet before. But he guided me through everything. He showed me how to play every note," Shecter said.
Parents consoled their children outside the school as they learned the news. "I don't know what to do. I don't know how to handle this. I'll just do the best I can. Life is unfair, and Emily lost a really good teacher," James Shecter said.
The Palm Beach County School District released a statement that said: "Mr. Jensen had been our beloved band director since Emerald Cove opened in 2007, and he had dedicated more than 30 years to teaching young people about music. We are heartbroken at the news of his passing, and our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time."
A spokesman with the district says counselors are at the middle school to help grieving students. "His legacy is going to be my daughter and the kids he has taught. He will leave an impression throughout their lives," James Shecter said.
Investigators with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission say Jensen's body was taken to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy. The investigation into what happened is ongoing.