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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

Disney School Mourns Loss of Teacher

Malori McGhee
Springfield Public Schools

Disney Elementary in Springfield is grieving the loss of one of its fourth grade teachers.

"She was very energetic and vivacious, so she was well-known among many of the parents and students at Disney," said Rhonda Mammen, manager of counseling services for Springfield Public Schools.

Extra counselors are at Disney to help students and staff deal with the death of Malori McGhee.

The 24-year-old first-year teacher was killed Saturday in northern Missouri when the vehicle in which she was a passenger slid on icy roads and into the path of a pickup truck.

Mammen said they’re helping students both as a group and individually.  They planned to first talk to the kids about what happened in an age-appropriate way.

"And then we would let them talk about or remember something about the person that was either important to them or something they remember that was fun or that they enjoyed about that person," she said.

Mammen said they’re giving students the chance to express emotions in any way they need to.  The most important thing, she said, is for kids to get back into a normal routine.  She said extra counselors will be made available to the school as long as they’re needed.

According to Mammen, Ms. McGhee’s students planned to make cards Monday to give to their teacher’s family.

The school informed families via telephone over the weekend that counselors would be available at the school Monday to support students and staff through the grieving process.

According to the Springfield School District, the focus of educators at Disney Monday would be to help those in need of support while keeping a focus on learning throughout the day.