Morgantown teacher remembered after being killed by tree

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (WDTV)-- Brookhaven Elementary School lost a teacher they say was kind, positive and loving in a tragedy that left them in complete shock.

After heavy rain, a tree uprooted in Shari Austin's front yard killing her while she laid in bed. Her memory will never be forgotten.

"We all stood together and we all prayed. As a faculty we all came together," said Davene Burks, the principal at Brookhaven Elementary.

"Oh, she loved teaching. She loved the kids and she loved the staff," said teacher, Susan Culpepper.

Those who had the opportunity to learn from Shari, over her five years as a teacher, say she's their mentor.

"It's hard because of the kids. The kids that had her and the kids who won't have her in the future. It's kinds of like a missed opportunity because she loved this job and she was an amazing teacher," said fourth-grade teacher, Bobbi Barber.

Her past and present students thought the world of her.

"She's fun, nice, caring and funny. She is a great person," said fourth-grader, Claire McCusker.

"I always want to keep an image in my head of Mrs. Austin. She was just a great person," said fifth-grader, Emerson Murphy.

Shari was like a grandmother to many with her nurturing personality and smile she carried through the days.

If they could say one more thing to her....

"From the staff, thank you for always being there for us," said Culpepper.

"Thank you for the friendship and for just always being positive," said Barber.

"You're an amazing teacher. I love you," said McCusker.

The students and faculty are making cards and memory books to carry on Mrs. Austin's legacy.