ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. — A local school is grieving the loss of an assistant principal whom some call a legend.
Students and teachers learned Friday about the teacher's car accident. Monday, they began their day with a memorial service, and grief counselors were on hand to help people cope.
At a school as small as Rocky Mount Preparatory, the loss of one of their own has tremendous impact. That was the case with the death of Assistant Principal Cheryl White, 53, who was on her way to feed her horses just before school when a car crossed the center line and hit her car head-on.
Steven Jeans, 23, was charged with misdemeanor death by vehicle in the accident.
“Most of us are still devastated by it, and it’s difficult for us to talk about it, and so if a child comes in.... It’s hard to talk to them about it, so it’s good to have a professional,” said Principal Nancy Murray.
Murray said she and White were more like sisters than principal and assistant principal.
“She loved the kids, she loved the teachers, and she wanted to make this school a very good place,” Murray said.
White leaves behind a husband and two daughters, including one who teaches at Rocky Mount.
She was one of the first employees when the charter school opened in 1997.
“The impact Cheryl White had on this school will never, ever, ever go away because she had an impact on all of us, headmaster Michael Pratt said.