Sotloff was Conn. boarding school graduate


American journalist Steven Sotloff (center, in black helmet) talks to Libyan rebels in this 2011 photo. Photo: Etienne De Malglaive / Courtesy Photo

Steven Sotloff, the American journalist beheaded by ISIS militants Tuesday, has a local connection as a graduate of Rumsey Hall School in Washington.

Rumsey Hall is a private non-denominational pre-preparatory school with its campus in the town of Washington. Sotloff attended the school as a boarding student, graduating as a ninth-grade student in about 1997.

“Steven was a bundle of energy,” said former Rumsey teacher Jeffrey Magnoli. “He was one of those guys my father, the headmaster at the school, and I called ‘The Glue that held the student body together.'”

Sotoloff was remembered as “a kid who went about his day as he was suppose to, enjoying his studies and sports.” He was good with people, enjoyed life and never got into any trouble, Magnoli recalled.

“He was the kind of kid who makes your student body better because he’s there,” Magnoli said.

Sotloff was shown being beheaded in a video released by ISIS Tuesday. Wednesday morning American intelligence officials confirmed that the video was authentic.

Sotloff, 31, was kidnapped in 2013 while reporting on the civil war in Syria. He was freelancing at the time. His beheading was threatened two weeks ago in a video showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley in Syria. ISIS had threatened to behead Sotloff next if the U.S. bombing of ISIS targets in Iraq continued.

Susan Tuz