Jackson Public School officials and students were mourning the sudden death of an elementary school teacher. It was right after lunch Wednesday at Bates Elementary School. Karen Manning was inside her fourth grade classroom when the unthinkable happened. In front of her entire class, the 54 year old collapsed.
"Some of the students say they were in the middle of a math lesson. She collapsed during that time and they actually went to get help for her," said Bates Elementary School Principal Mitchell Sheers.
Manning was rushed to CMMC where she later died of natural causes. Students were in shock. Grief counselors and teachers used Thursday to help the 4th graders.
"I talked with one student one on one today and said do you know what she wants you to do now? He said yes, perform proficient or advanced on the MCT2," said Sheers.
That was Ms. Manning's way, always pushing her students to excel. She had been a JPS educator for the last 24 years. While teaching at Clausell Elementary in 2006, she was awarded as one of Metro Jackson's Teachers of the Year.
"Everybody is remembering her as a wonderful person. Super teacher, dynamic, just awesome, just great," said Clausell Elementary School Principal Tawanda Nichols.
Manning was also a mother of two. If you ask those who worked alongside her, Manning students are her lasting legacy.
"The kids are... we're working with them to continue on where she left off," said Sheers.
JPS Superintendent Dr. Lonnie Edwards gave this statement, " Our hearts go out to Karen Manning's family and to the students and staff of Bates Elementary School. She was a valued and treasured part of the JPS family. Her dedication, commitment and passion to teaching our children will undoubtedly leave a void at Bates Elementary and the Jackson Public School District. We are grateful to the citizens of Jackson for their prayers and others for their support during this difficult time of bereavement. We are providing grief counselors to her students and others affected by this tragic loss."
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