Shelton High School students, parents and staff assembled in the school\u2019s auditorium on the evening of Sunday, March 23 for an interfaith community gathering to remember Kristjan Ndoj, the sophomore who died on March 20. Several members of the Ndoj family attended the service. Beth Smith, SHS headmaster, said she planned the evening because \u201cit was important to gather as a school community.\u201d Referring to an article she had read in the past, Smith told attendees \u2014 many of them students \u2014 that important lessons often are learned at difficult and sad times. \u201cFind the strength and courage to keep going, and, even if you stumble a few times, keep going, and continue to support each other,\u201d she said. \u2018Unspeakable tragedy\u2019 Smith had contacted the Rev. Lucille Fritz, head of the Shelton Clergy Association, at the beginning of the week. \u201cI knew as this unspeakable tragedy unfolded that I needed assistance in dealing with it so I reached out to community resources,\u201d Smith said. \u201cRev. Fritz was instrumental in working with her colleagues to prepare for the evening.\u201d Words of sympathy and encouragement During the gathering, members of the clergy from Shelton offered prayers and words of sympathy and encouragement. These speakers included Fritz, pastor of Huntington Congregational Church; Monsignor Chris Walsh, pastor of St. Joseph Church, where Kristjan Ndoj\u2019s funeral will take place Thursday; the Rev. Nicholas Pavia of St. Joseph Church; the Rev. Dai Hoon Lee, pastor of First United Methodist Church of Shelton; and the Rev. Jack Whritenour, pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church. Attendees at the gathering sang \u201cLet There Be Peace on Earth\u201d in unison. \u2018Don\u2019t be afraid to keep going\u2019 In her closing remarks, Smith thanked the clergy members in attendance and referred to an article that she had distributed to her staff at the beginning of the school year \u2014 entitled, \u201c8 Things to Remember When Everything Goes Wrong.\u201d \u201cI would like to end this evening\u2019s gathering by paraphrasing the last point, No. 8, which states, \u2018The best thing you can do is keep going.\u2019 \u201cSo, don\u2019t be afraid to get back up, to keep going, to love again, to live again and to dream again,\u201d Smith told the gatehring. \u201cLife\u2019s best lessons are often learned at the worst times. You might think that you are stuck feeling sad forever, but you won\u2019t be. Sometimes you have to go through the worst, to get to your best.\u201d \u2018Shelton High Strong\u2019 \u201cYes, right now, things are tough, but you \u2014 and we as a school community \u2014 are tougher,\u201d Smith said. \u201cFind the strength and courage to keep going, and, even if you stumble a few times, keep going, and continue to support each other. \u201cTogether, we are \u2018Shelton High Strong,\u2019\u201d she said. Crisis team and others assisted At the beginning of the gathering, Smith had thanked the school crisis team and school counselors for working tirelessly throughout the week to assist students and staff in need, and to help her manage the tragedy. She also publicly acknowledged the SHS security staff, members of the school system\u2019s central office administration, and school resource (police) officers at both SHS and Shelton Intermediate School. In addition, Smith thanked members of the Bridges Community Support System and Clifford Beers Clinic for being on hand to support everyone in attendance. Funeral service is Thursday Kristjan Ndoj, 15, died in Bridgeport Hospital five days after being shot in a driveway in Shelton. Born in Albania, the Shelton teenager is survived by his mother and father, Fran and Rudina Gjoka Ndoj; brother Elvis Ndoj, a SHS senior; paternal grandmother Franga Ndoj, and other family members. His wake will be Wednesday, March 26 from 3-7 p.m. in the chapel of the Spinelli-Ricciuti\/Bednar-Osieski Funeral Home, 62 Beaver St., Ansonia. His funeral will Thursday, March 27 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph\u2019s Church, 50 Fairmont Place (Coram Avenue), Shelton. To offer an online sympathy message, go to www.spinelliricciutifh.com.