At least 15 teachers and staff in the Jacksonville area have died from COVID-19 since July – Action News Jax
More than 15 teachers and staff in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia have died from COVID-19 since July, Action News Jax has learned.
They were teachers and coaches. These were bus drivers and school resource officers. They were administrators and maintenance workers. They were pastors and keepers.
Two were a father and son.
If you know of an educator in Northeast Florida or Southeast Georgia who is not on the list that you would like to remember, please email us at [email protected].
Six of those teachers and staff have died since August 17, in just over 30 days.
Cases of COVID-19 fueled by the highly contagious delta variant have spread rapidly in schools. According to data from the American Association of Pediatrics, cases in children are usually mild.
Overall, the list below paints a mind-boggling portrait of the tragic toll that the delta variant of COVID-19 has inflicted on educators in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia. Here are their names and stories:
Korey harrington, 47, was an ESE college teacher at Pine Island Academy in St. Johns County. She previously taught at Nease High School, working with students with special needs. Her sister described her sister to Action News Jax as the nicest person she has ever known. A message from the principal of Pine Island Academy was sent to the families, stating that Harrington’s commitment to his students has never been in doubt. It reads in part:
“She has never hesitated to offer her support to anyone in need. She worked all summer to make sure our students were ready for the transition to a new school and there were days we had to tell her to come home.
Jamie Morris, 40, was a grade 7 teacher at Pierce County Middle School and a father of three. He also coached football and college football. According to his wife, Morris died on the evening of September 4 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center Riverside in Jacksonville.
Jessie cortez, 43, died on August 31, according to the Florida Education Association (FEA). He was employed by St. Johns County School Transportation as a bus driver. He leaves behind a wife, a son and two daughters, according to his obituary.
Estelle Henri, 35, was a Duval County school bus instructor. She died on August 29 according to FEA.
Tammy looney, 44 years old, died on August 27, according to FEA. She had worked as a teacher for the St. Johns County School System for the past 15 years as a kindergarten teacher at Timberland Creek Elementary School in St. Augustine, according to his obituary.
Jody hull jr., 49, from St. Augustine, Florida, died of COVID-19 on August 21 after a weeks-long battle with the virus. He was employed by the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office, most recently serving as the Youth Resource Assistant at St. Augustine High School.
Shirley Duggan, 77, died of COVID-19 on August 15, by Brantley County School District. She was a school bus driver in Brantley County for almost 20 years. She enjoyed going to church and spending time with her five sons, eleven grandchildren and several great grandchildren.
Nicole hollis was a third-grade teacher at River City Science Academy Mandarin when she died of COVID-19 on August 14, according to his family. She leaves behind two young children. After her passing, Hollis’ husband shared the following post on Facebook:
“We are heartbroken. Nicole never met someone she didn’t like; she had the most beautiful contagious smile. She was the most genuine and sweetest person to walk on Earth. She was the best thing that ever happened to our family! Heaven has won a star. Thanks for all the prayers! Please give your loved ones a hug today.
Catherine shuman, 38, died on August 11 after a battle with COVID-19. according to his family. She was a science and social studies teacher at Wacona Elementary School in Waycross. She also coached the Wacona Science Olympiad team.
“She will be remembered as an enthusiastic team player who made learning science fun for her students. family members stated in his obituary.
Bobby rivers, deputy principal of Arlington Middle School, died on August 10.
Rivers was a “proud and dedicated educator” for Duval County Public Schools for more than 15 years on multiple campuses as a teacher, dean of students, reading interventionist and finally as deputy principal, according to his obituary.
Arlington Middle Principal Shawn Platts sent a message to students and families.
“Although I was only here for a short time and knew Mr. Rivers, his passion for students and for education was immediately evident. He was well known for his success in helping children learn in all settings, and we all looked forward to his leadership on our PRIDE program this year, ”the post read. “Our entire school community is deeply saddened by this unexpected loss and we extend our condolences to his family. “
Kevin hubbard was a longtime locksmith at Duval Schools. He announced that he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on July 31 and died the same. He was 51 years old.
According to his Facebook, Hubbard was a Marine Corps veterinarian and served as a worship and worship leader in his church. Shortly before his death, Hubbard shared that he had recently tested positive for the virus on social media.
A family from around the world of Duval County school workers were shaken in late July after a mother was hospitalized and her husband and son both died of COVID-19, according to FEA citing information from the Times Union .
The two Marc McCall, 60 years old, and her son Britt, 35, worked as a foreman in the maintenance crew of Duval County Public Schools. Britt passed away on July 26. Mark died just 4 days later.
Mark’s wife Sherry was also hospitalized but recovered. The McCall family was not vaccinated, citing fear of the vaccine.
Widely known football player and coach from Jacksonville Wagner Linzel “Lin” Shell Jr., 39, died July 30.
Shell played college football at Jacksonville University and spent several years in the Canadian Football League.
Formerly an assistant coach at Andrew Jackson High School, Shell taught physical education and coached football, weightlifting and women’s flag football at Jean Ribault High School.
Rev. William “Billy” Poyner, 46, died on July 26 after a “valiant battle against COVID-19”, his obituary says. Poyner was a student pastor and Bible teacher at Northside Baptist Church / Christian Academy in Starke.
Lena Marcella Jackson, 61, died of COVID-19 on July 25. Jackson previously worked for the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind for 15 years before joining the St. Johns County School District where she worked for the past decade.
She leaves behind a husband, four children and three grandchildren.
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