CATSKILL, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Catskill Central School District is in mourning after Dr. Ronel Cook, who served as the district’s superintendent from July 2017 to July 2022, died suddenly over the weekend. District officials said support will be available at all school buildings for any student or staff member who is experiencing grief, through each building’s principal.

Interim Superintendent Thomas Bongiovi said Cook died in “a tragic car accident.” An obituary has not been released by his family.

Cook took the reins of Catskill Central School District on July 1, 2017. By that time, he had more than 22 years of leadership experience in urban-suburban school districts in the Hudson Valley.

He came to Catskill from the Poughkeepsie City School District, where he worked in various leadership positions. Cook started his career as a classroom teacher in Poughkeepsie.

Cook held a doctorate in educational leadership, administration, and policy from Fordham University, and a certificate of advanced study, a master’s degree in educational technology, and a bachelor’s degree in English from SUNY New Paltz.

“We offer our deepest sympathies to his family, friends, and coworkers during this time of great sadness,” Catskill district officials said Monday. “His presence here touched every aspect of our school community.”