Hardin County elementary school mourns beloved first grade teacher

Hardin County elementary school mourns beloved first grade teacher
Suzanne Dennis (Source: Family photo)
Suzanne Dennis (Source: Family photo)

CECILIA, KY (WAVE) – New details are emerging about a beloved teacher killed in a car crash on the way to school.

The crash happened on US 62 near Cecilia, Kentucky in Hardin County Monday morning. The news of the teachers death left her community and school devastated.

The community knew her best by Mrs. Dennis. After hearing from a few folks who knew her, it's obvious that her legacy lies beyond her first grade classroom.

"A great teacher and mentor to have, very encouraging to all her students," Sara Ice said. Ice, who is a fellow teacher at Lakewood Elementary School described Suzanne Dennis as an inspiration to all of her first grade children.

Dennis was also known to be a great storyteller who rarely forgot anything.

"You'd say something and she'd say, 'Oh, I got a story about that from when I was five years old,' she just had a wonderful memory," Lakewood Elementary School principal Shelee Clark said.

Maybe the reason Suzanne Dennis' students were all so smitten was because Dennis made each student feel special.

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"I feel confident to say that she greeted those students each and every day," Ice said. "That's why those students looked forward to school everyday because of the way she treated them."

Ice, whose daughter was in Dennis' class said it was exceptionally difficult to have the conversation about Dennis' death with her daughter.

"She admired her and excelled in her classroom," Ice said. "As the day went on, struggled a little bit more and more and as the evening went on it would sink in, she wasn't going to see Ms. Dennis again and what that really meant."

To try to bring closure to two dozen broken hearts, the school has asked the current students to add a little something to her memorial.

"All of her current students are going to pick one item that they think exemplifies Ms. Dennis and they are going to take those to the funeral home to set it up," Clark said.

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While they wait for time to heal, Ice says they will focus on the positive light that Dennis left behind.

"We were so lucky to have seen how she treated people and how smart she was," Ice said. "We have lots of things to be happy about and for one where she is at now, there's no doubt about it."

Dennis taught for 37 years. She was also an active member at her church as well as the Dulcimer club. Her visitation is scheduled for Wednesday, and her funeral is scheduled for Thursday.

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.

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