Doris Cook was in Houston for her mother’s birthday when she suffered the heart attack. Medical personnel were unable to revive her, according to Lily B. Clayton principal Stephanie Hughes.
“It’s been a hard day,” said Hughes. “It was a hard weekend. She will be missed greatly.”
Hughes and assistant principal Eugene Elizondo called the parents of students in Cook’s class on Saturday. Every staff member at the school was also called individually. Hughes said she held a meeting for all staff this morning where she gave them the facts and a prepared statement for each class.
The statement read as follows, “I have some sad and difficult news to share with you this morning. Our school has suffered a great loss. One of our second grade teachers, Doris Cook, died Friday night of a heart attack. Her tragic death was very sudden and she will be missed at Lily B. Clayton. Counselors from across our District are here to help. There is a Safe Room if you need more help.”
Students were then given paper to make a card for Cook’s family or to draw their favorite memory of Cook. Fort Worth ISD also provided 15 extra counselors for the day.
Parent volunteers came to help supervise students during the day to provide teachers extra time.
Paul Denney, father of two Lily B. Clayton students, said that today the number of parent volunteers in the cafeteria and at recess had doubled.
“A lot of the parents have come out today,” Denney said. “I know the teachers are taking some extra time, having some lunch and talking together.”
The PTA also provided breakfast and lunch to all the staff and snacks for every classroom.
Cook taught at Lily B. Clayton for 39 years. Hughes described Cook as “compassionate and loving.”
“She was passionate about teaching and helping kids be successful, not just academically but as well as socially,” Hughes said. “We gave her sometimes the tougher kids and she won them over, every time.”
Mrs. Trest will be the substitute teacher for Cook’s class this week.
“Our community has stepped up,” Hughes said. “We have a tremendous community at Lily B. It’s just been amazing support.”