Fresh out of the University of Maine at Farmington, Andrew Holland was hoping to become an elementary school teacher in southern Maine.

Tragedy intervened.

Holland, 23, was shot to death Tuesday night in a friend’s apartment in Farmington.

He was remembered Tuesday as a gentle, soft-spoken man with intellect and insight, and a strong sense of individuality.

“In terms of his behavior, he was just much more mature than most kids his age,” said Ted Jordan, who had Holland in honors history and in his advanced placement government class at Cape Elizabeth High School.

“He was a very gentle, quiet young man but really high achieving. He was rock solid academically.”

Holland was the son of Ward and Lynne Holland of Cape Elizabeth and a member of his high school’s 2006 graduating class.

His mother said she was not prepared to talk about her son Wednesday.

“We are just shattered right now and can’t really speak to anyone,” she said in an email. “Our world got very dark today.”

Holland graduated last month from UMF with a bachelor’s degree in education studies.

Jordan said he had recently been exchanging messages with Holland through social media as his former pupil began looking for a teaching position.

Holland stood out as a student and as an individual.

“He was very atypical in a lot of ways. His fashion sense was a little bit out of the norm,” Jordan said, noting that Holland dyed his hair different colors, wore an earring and held decidedly left-leaning political views.

He recalled walking with Holland on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during a school field trip, taking in the powerful quotes uttered by presidents Lincoln, Jefferson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Holland wondered whether President Reagan would someday have a quote on the mall and whether it would be his own, or that of a professional speech writer.

“He was one who stood out in my mind,” Jordan said.

As students often do, Holland quipped in his yearbook that he disliked school and his ambition was to leave.

“He was a really kind man,” Jordan said. “It’s just such a horrible thing that’s happened to him.”

David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at [email protected]