Glenbrook North grieves student-athlete standout Dylan Buckner
Glenbrook North Principal Jason Markey had to break devastating news Thursday night: Senior star student-athlete Dylan Buckner had died.
"It is with deep sadness that I share news of the tragic and sudden loss of GBN senior Dylan Buckner," Markey wrote in a statement to families. "This is a profound loss for our entire school community and our hearts go out to all of Dylan's family and friends. These are the times when we need to reach out, check in, and ensure that we are caring for one another."
On the football field, Buckner was a starting quarterback for the Spartans in both his sophomore and junior seasons. As a sophomore in 2018, he helped Glenbrook North to a 7-3 overall record and a Class 7A playoff berth, and second place in the Central Suburban North conference at 4-1.
Ultimately a team captain for Spartans football coach Matt Purdy, Buckner held career program records for both passing attempts and completions.
The 18-year-old Northbrook resident was found after he took his own life, according to the Cook County medical examiner.
In a statement Friday, Purdy said, "Dylan will be remembered for his tremendous work ethic and his kind heart.
"He was respected and loved by so many, and his lasting impact is felt and noted through hundreds of emails, texts and notes we are receiving from our school community and far beyond. As an athlete, Dylan was a decorated football player who will be remembered as one of the best quarterbacks in school history. Dylan was the definition of leadership. He was a great teammate who was respected by opponents and coaches throughout the state."
According to his Twitter account, Buckner had received numerous offers to play football in college. They included offers from Rose-Hulman, Denison, Augustana, Oberlin, Colby, Kenyon, Carleton, St. Norbert and MIT.
He said on Twitter that he had been selected to play in the Hawaii Tiki Bowl, whose activities would have taken place Dec. 30-Jan. 4 in Honolulu.
His Twitter profile also noted his 4.7 grade-point average and scores of 34 on the ACT and 1460 on the SAT. He was a National Honor Society student.
Buckner attended Northbrook's Maple School before coming to Glenbrook North.
Northbrook/Glenview School District 30 Superintendent Dr. Brian Wegley also sent a statement to families on Thursday. "Dylan's teachers wanted to 'clone' him. He will be missed," he said.
"Dylan was an amazing kid," Maple Principal Sam Kurtz said. "He was a leader, a great student, a star athlete, and a loved member of District 30. He will be remembered for great things and missed by all."
A prayer service was scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday at St. Norbert Catholic Church, 1809 Walters Ave., Northbrook, followed by a 5 p.m. candlelight vigil at nearby Village Green Park.
Markey made counselors available to students throughout Friday and anytime in the future. "If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of grief, please reach out to a trusted adult and/or school staff member," Markey said.
"Our thoughts are with Dylan's family, and we offer our deepest condolences to them, and the classmates, teachers and staff who have been impacted," he said.
Students seeking support can text GBN Help at (847) 823-5323.
"To best honor Dylan, I am asking everyone to love and appreciate each other," Purdy said. "Parents, go and hug your kids, and kids, tell your parents you love them."
Wegley listed a number of administrative team members people could reach by email for support, including himself at email@example.com as well as Sam Kurtz, firstname.lastname@example.org; Betty Holzkopf, email@example.com; Chris Brown, firstname.lastname@example.org; Scott Carlson, email@example.com; and Lauren Schulman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wegley said support from the counseling team would be available for each District 30 school starting Friday. He also said students could get support through Text-a-Tip by texting "MAPLE" to (844) 823-5323,
Interviewed in June when Glenbrook North conducted its speed and conditioning camps, Buckner expressed his desire to get back on the football field and his pleasure in rejoining his teammates and coaches.
"In an ideal world I'd be in football practice and be hitting, stuff like that," he said. "It feels good just to be around the other football guys and the other coaches.
"We've been without that so long. Being out on the football field that first time, that first Monday, it was like getting back something that we'd lost."