Students honor Fargo North teacher who died Friday

Rod Capistran suffered a medical emergency while teaching a virtual class

FARGO, N.D. — Roses, candles and messages of kindness fill the pavement at Fargo North High School.

The symbols of support are in honor of beloved teacher Rod Capistran, who died Friday evening.

“Everybody’s just kind of, even with everything going on, you can tell that this is bringing people together,” says Fargo North student Natalie Syverson.

Students, staff and community members all showing love for the man they say made an impact on everyone in his life.

“Like me being someone that he didn’t really know as well, he still impacted me by being an inspiration of being a good person everyday,” says student Micah Harwood.

Capistran was a husband and father, and he especially took pride in being a teacher.

“When it was Valentine’s Day or before we would leave for Christmas break, he would involve that holiday into the lesson for the day and end it with us doing an activity that would end up saying, ‘Merry Christmas,’ or ‘Happy Valentine’s Day’ or something like that,” says Syverson. “It would just, it would brighten everybody’s day.”

Capistran suffered from a medical emergency while teaching a virtual class amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, the memorial in front of the empty school is a way for people to come together even when they’re physically apart.

“I thought it was just a really good way to celebrate his life and help us kind of find peace in the situation and be able to represent him in a good way while still maintaining social distance rules,” says Harwood, who put the memorial together.

Students say when schools do open back up, things simply won’t be the same without him there.

“There’s not that presence of him there anymore, which I think will affect people,” says Syverson.

They hope they can continue to support and encourage one another while honoring his legacy.

A memorial service will be held for Capistran at a later date.

Categories: Community, Local News, North Dakota News