Local News

Fayetteville middle school teacher dies from COVID-19

Posted December 1, 2020 9:48 a.m. EST
Updated December 17, 2020 12:30 p.m. EST

— A middle school teacher has died from COVID-19 complications, according to Cumberland County Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly.

Richard "Rick" Alan Martin taught science since 2007 at Luther Nick Jeralds Middle School on Ramsey Street in Fayetteville. He often told stories of Mr. Bones, his classroom skeleton. Martin passed away on Nov. 23.

Martin's wife, Lynn Martin, told WRAL News that he loved his students.

"He was a wonderful man. Throughout the day, I could hear him tell his students, 'I love you guys, see you tomorrow,'" she said. "He said this was the hardest year he had had teaching because he missed his kids so much. He was looking forward to getting back in the classroom at the beginning of the year."

Two days before he passed away, Lynn Martin said both she and her husband had cold-like symptoms.

"He had a fever on Saturday and Sunday. We were actually planning on getting tested on Monday afternoon," Lynn said. "On Monday, he taught his class. A couple of hours after he got through with his class, something went wrong. He just collapsed, and we went to he hospital from there."

Cumberland County Superintendent Connelly said Martin had not been in the school for weeks.

"This particular teacher has been working remotely and has not been in the building. And so no additional staff or students were affected."

Cumberland County is one of a few North Carolina school districts keeping students at home full-time during the pandemic. In November, the Cumberland County Board of Education voted to bring students back to schools on a staggered start as soon as Jan. 7.

More than 8,300 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Cumberland County since March.

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