The American journalist beheaded by ISIS militants in Syria had ties to Arizona.
James Foley worked as a teacher in the Valley.
From 1996 to 1999, he taught through the Teach for America program at Lowell Elementary School in Phoenix.
It is with sadness that we learned of the reported killing by ISIS of former Lowell Teacher, Mr. James Foley. James Foley was a teacher at Lowell School in Phoenix Elementary School District #1 from 1996-1999 through Teach for America. We are honored that such a brave citizen served the students of our district. We are deeply saddened by his death.
We send our condolences to his family and friends. We will honor Mr. Foley throughout our schools and district.
Dr. Myriam Roa
Superintendent, Phoenix Elementary School District #1
Teach For America sent a statement saying:
We are shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the horrific loss of James (Jim) Foley, a talented independent journalist and TFA alumnus (Phoenix '96).
Jim always had a remarkable spirit. As a passionate teacher, he devoted his time to ensuring the success of every student – and as a journalist, he was committed to seeking the truth and reporting with the utmost integrity. He will be severely missed by all of those whose lives he touched.
Our thoughts and condolences are with Jim's family, friends and all of his loved ones at this most difficult time.
Former Maricopa County supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox said the school where Foley taught serves kids in the Grant Park neighborhood where she and her husband run youth programs.
"Violence is never a solution to disagreement. The loss of James Foley hits close to home. I offer my condolences to his family and those who were close to him. He will be remembered for his service to the community teaching inner-city kids at Lowell School, where children from the Grant Park neighborhood attend," Wilcox said.
On Wednesday, CBS News learned the U.S. military tried but failed to rescue Foley earlier this summer.
The U.S. launched a new barrage of airstrikes against Islamic State extremists Wednesday and weighed sending more troops to Iraq as President Barack Obama vowed to be relentless in pursuit of the terrorist group that beheaded Foley and is holding other U.S. citizens hostage.
Copyright 2014 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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