A South Carolina elementary school teacher died earlier this week, mere days after the school district she worked with was notified that she had tested positive for COVID-19.
According to WISTV, Demetria Bannister, 28, who taught third grade at Windsor Elementary School died on September 7.
“I want to express my sincere condolences to Ms. Bannister’s parents, relatives, friends and school family,” Richland County School District Two Superintendent Baron Davis said in a statement. “While gone from us too soon, Ms. Bannister’s legacy lives on through the lives of the students she taught in her five years as a dedicated educator. To honor Ms. Bannister’s memory I ask the Richland Two family to join me in reaffirming our commitment to doing all we can to provide premier learning experiences for all students in the safest environment possible and doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
Bannister was last inside the school building on August 28; however, the district emphasized that she had not been showing symptoms at the time, and cleaning protocols were followed.
School officials were notified of her positive COVID-19 diagnosis on September 5. A few days later, Bannister, who had been hospitalized, was dead.
“Known as Windsor’s Songbird, Ms. Bannister used her musical talents to bring a great deal of joy to our school,” Denise Quickel, principal of Windsor Elementary, said of Bannister, who had taught at the school for five years. “For our school’s Attendance Matters kickoff in 2019, she wrote a song about the importance of coming to school to the tune of ‘Old Town Road.’ The song and video were a big hit with our school family. Ms. Bannister loved her students and never missed an opportunity to advocate for students and public education.”