It is with great difficulty and sadness that I share the unsettling news about the loss of Joey Lutz, an English teacher and a member of the Samohi family. Mr. Lutz was a young, popular teacher whose endless energy and down-to-earth demeanor earned him the respect and admiration of all who came in contact with him. He had a very special bond with Samohi Class of ’07seniors as he served as their class sponsor. I spoke with Mrs. Freda Lutz yesterday and she said that Joey was swept off a Panamanian beach by a riptide which carried him out to sea. At that time Joey’s family was hopeful he would survive and be found. Mrs. Lutz called me again this morning to let me know that Joey’s body had been found, confirming his untimely demise.
I have been in contact with the Interim Superintendent and his staff to make sure that come Monday morning, we are prepared to provide grief counseling to students and staff who may need it. I will keep you apprised as more information becomes available from Joey’s family. In the meantime, I am in contact with the PTSA to coordinate ways in which we would like to honor the life of Mr. Joey Lutz. This is a very challenging time for our school community and I am very confident we will ultimately become stronger as a result. Thank you for your support.
Respectfully, Dr. Hugo A. Pedroza
Principal, Santa Monica High School