A Killeen Independent School District high school teacher has died from complications with the coronavirus, officials said Friday.
Cathy Falkner, 47, a science teacher at Ellison High School, died Thursday night, Killeen ISD officials said.
David Dominguez, the principal of Ellison, released a statement Friday to parents and students.
“We are heartbroken this morning to hear that Ms. Falkner has passed away as a result of complications from COVID-19,” Dominguez said.
He added that a long term substitute has been scheduled to teach Falkner’s classes.
Falkner was last on campus Nov. 20, before the Thanksgiving break and was hospitalized for COVID-19 in December, according to the district.
“The students and staff of Ellison High school will remember the positive impact she made on their lives during the three years she was on campus. Despite the illness, Ms. Falkner’s main concern was for her students and their continued success in her class. Her dedication educating students will be greatly missed,” according to a statement from KISD. “We offer our condolences and prayers to her family during this difficult time. Support services have been made available for grieving students and staff.”
Rick Beaule, the president of the Killeen Educators Association, issued a statement in response to the news on the KEA Facebook page.
“There have been those who question why we continue to advocate for the safety of educators in Killeen ISD when it seems like there is no hope,” the statement said. “Though not a member, Killeen Educators Association mourns the passing of an Ellison High School teacher from COVID-19. May the light they shined on their students continue to light our paths as we remember their legacy.”
There have been 1,056 positive cases of the coronavirus among both students and staff within the Killeen Independent School District since March as of Friday.
At the elementary level, 201 students and 291 staff have tested positive. At KISD middle schools, 108 students and 101 staff have tested positive, and 162 students and 113 staff have tested positive at high schools, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard, https://www.killeenisd.org/dashboard. A total of 80 staff members have tested positive at KISD’s non-campus buildings.