‘Inspirational’ elementary teacher dies from COVID-19 in North Carolina

Credit: Via Facebook

Credit: Via Facebook

The family and students of a North Carolina elementary schoolteacher are mourning her death just a few weeks after she was diagnosed with COVID-19.

Julie Davis, 49, tested positive for the virus Sept. 25. The third-grade teacher started exhibiting symptoms that weekend, including nausea and a fever, her daughter Leanna Richardson told NBC News. Shortly after, Davis was diagnosed with pneumonia and admitted to the intensive care unit at FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital in Pinehurst, North Carolina, where she died Oct. 4.

ExploreThird-grade teacher in SC district dies of COVID-19

Her brother, Stan Andrews, said his sister was always willing to help despite their difficult upbringing.

“Although we grew up poor, Julie was always someone who always wanted to give what little she had to people and always wanted to mentor people,” Andrews said.

The lifelong North Carolinian was inspired to become an educator after the mass shooting at Columbine High School. In April 1999, she watched the tragic news of two teenagers gunning down dozens of students, leaving 13 dead. The events of that mass shooting inspired Davis to serve students.

“She felt in her heart,” says Leanna Richardson, now 22, “that she could impact students and prevent more (tragedies) like that happening.”

Her career spanned 17 years, and for the last two years she taught at Norwood Elementary in Stanly County Schools. The school system posted a tribute to her on Facebook shortly after her death.

“Mrs. Davis earned a well-deserved reputation as an inspirational teacher who was always seeking ways to support every student so that they were able to fulfill their potential,” the post reads. “Students absolutely loved being taught by Mrs. Davis. Her personality was infectious and she brought joy into the lives of the students, staff, and community.”

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