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Pulaski Co. community mourns loss of first grade teacher who died of COVID-19

Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 5:24 PM EST
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PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - Pulaski County families are mourning the loss of a teacher.

Stephanie Foster, 40, died from COVID-19 on Tuesday. It’s the district’s first COVID-related death.

“This sort of just knocks you back a few steps. It makes it hit home,” Pulaski County Schools Superintendent Patrick Richardson said.

Richardson said Foster’s first grade students felt very connected to her.

“Those lower primary grades, you do a lot of one-on-one instruction. You’re on the kids’ level,” Richardson said.

Dr. Jeni Bolander, also a teacher, said the loss is being felt across the commonwealth.

“Teachers just have the biggest hearts. They want to see the world be a better place,” Dr. Bolander said.

Richardson said Foster was a leader on campus.

“She was one of the technology experts in the building. She trained a lot of our teachers on the different technology aspects, especially through COVID and virtual learning,” Richardson said.

Richardson said in addition to all of the young lives Foster impacted as a teacher, she was a mother to two young sons.

“We’re going to try to support that family as much as possible. As far as our school community, she just impacted so many lives. That’s going to be big as far as impacting and the grief the community feels,” Richardson said.

He told us counselors are on campus helping students cope.

“Lives in Pulaski County that will no longer be impacted by somebody who had a true heart for kids. It’s incredibly sad,” Bolander said.

Richardson said this is another blow during a tough few years.

“Continue to remember all of the sick around us as we continue to move through this pandemic and try to survive,” Richardson said.

We talked to a doctor at the University of Kentucky about how to talk to your kids about deaths in their school communities, including teachers and other students. You can find that story by clicking here.

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