| Noah, 6, along with his father, Wojciech Kosalka, were found dead inside a Milton, Ont., home Saturday.
MILTON, Ont. - Tanya Marie Brancalion, whose husband committed suicide after killing their young son in this bedroom community just west of Toronto, is considered a top teacher by her students.
“She’s an amazing teacher, any teenager would be lucky to have her,” one wrote on the Rate My Teachers website.
“She’ll make your year the best as long as you do what you need to do,” the student wrote on the website, which does not use names.
“I love her!” another student wrote. “She’s so awesome and funny :D I hope she’s our Grade 8 teacher next year.”
Brancalion is a teacher at Mary Fix Catholic Elementary School in Mississauga,
She was the mother of Noah, an inquisitive, bright six-year-old often seen playing in the backyard of the home his parents moved into about three years ago.
The principal of Mary Fix was not available to speak Monday, and staff were advised not to talk with the media, but said a tragic response team is available for any students or employees.
On Sunday, police announced the little boy had been killed by his father, Wojciech Kosalka, a 43-year-old chef, who then took his own life in the brick duplex.
The cause of death will not be released, Sgt. Dave Cross said.
“I can’t believe that,” backyard neighbour Michael Chorobik said of the murder-suicide.
“The relationship seemed normal and fine,” he told QMI Agency.
On a four-minute YouTube video posted June 16, which shows her son playing with fish in the shallow water of a sandy beach, Brancalion wrote: “My son has always been kind of an animal whisperer.
“Deer follow him, he holds crazy snakes that become totally calm in his hands, the list goes on and on but this was a first - even a wild fish has made friends with him,” she mom wrote, adding “this video is four minutes of a two-hour encounter between the fish and my son who’s name is oddly enough Noah. lol.”
On the video, his father can be heard saying “you made the fish friend. He doesn’t want to let you go ... that is awesome.”
Swim “slowly,” he urges, in his heavy European accent.
“I’ll catch him,” Noah tells his father, happily circling the fish, holding him gently.
“You are a survivor, good job,” Kosalka says, his voice smiling encouragement. “You have a fish pet.
“I love her,” Noah tells him.
Neighbours said the family often kept to themselves, but Chorobik said he sometimes saw the couple sitting outside and the lad and his dad regularly played there.
The two bodies were found shortly after officers arrived. The mother was not at home at the time.
Next-door neighbour John Zaia, 9, often played with Noah, who he said had a lizard, played games on his iPad and “he had a skateboard.”
With tears running down his cheek, he said his pal’s death left him “sad”.
“We were good friends,” the youngster said, as his mom comforted him. “He was fun.”