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Neosho Teacher Death, More Details Released - KOAM TV 7

Neosho Teacher Death, More Details Released

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Angel Hayes Angel Hayes
Press Conference, Sept. 6, 2018 Press Conference, Sept. 6, 2018
Benton Elementary, Sept. 5, 2018 Benton Elementary, Sept. 5, 2018

The Neosho, Missouri community mourns the loss of a kindergarten teacher.

On September 5th, 2018, 48-year-old Angel Hayes was hit by an SUV while performing crossing duty at Benton Elementary. Additional details were released this morning (Sept. 6) at a press conference at the Neosho School District administrative center.

According to Neosho Police Chief David Kennedy, an 88-year-old man had picked up his 12-year-old granddaughter from Benton Elementary and was still in the parent-pickup lane when he says his foot got stuck between the brake and accelerator.

That's when Chief Kennedy says the SUV hit Angel Hayes, who had been directing traffic in the pickup lane. The SUV continued forward until it hit another vehicle.

When police arrived around 3:30 p.m., officers found Hayes trapped under the SUV. Rescue workers used an airbag deployment device to lift the vehicle. Hayes was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities are still gathering information and say investigation is ongoing.

Superintendent Jim Cummins says the district has been blessed to have Ms. Hayes as part of the team at Neosho for 19 years, both at Field Early Childhood Center and Benton Elementary. Cummins says it's no question teaching was her passion and that she had a natural talent for teaching and a huge heart for kids. Hayes was a well known mentor to teachers throughout the district.

"Yesterday was one of those days school administrators pray they will never have to face. Teachers not only teach together, they attend church together, spend time with each other's families, and raise their own children together. This loss will be felt just as the loss of a family member, said Cummins. "We ask for your prayers for Ms. Hayes' family, the Benton Elementary family, and all of Wildcat Nation."

Previous Story: Neosho Teacher Killed While on Crosswalk Duty

Words from Superintendent Jim Cummins on behalf of Neosho School District -

Today, Neosho mourns the loss of one of our own, long-time Wildcat Ms. Angel Hayes.

 

We’ve been blessed to have Ms. Hayes as part of our team at Neosho for 19 years - both at Field Early Childhood and Benton Elementary.

 

With 25 years and her masters in education from Southwest Missouri State University, it is no question that teaching was her passion. Over the years, her kindergarten classroom has become a staple at Benton. With a natural talent for teaching and a huge heart for her kids, she was a well-known mentor to teachers at Benton and across the District. Her love for her students was undeniable and seen every day through her kind spirit and patience.

 

Colleagues present and past have commented about Ms. Hayes’ kindness, caring, and selflessness. “She understood uniqueness and differences and she guided them to become their best self academically, socially, and emotionally.” “Angel was always searching for new and best practices, she never stopped learning. We were true collaborators; she was the most selfless coworker.” One co-teacher said “Angel was the perfect name for her.”

 

When she wasn’t at school, Ms. Hayes spent her time with her family and friends. She was a woman of strong faith who poured herself into her church and community. Her co-teachers remember her as a “jack of all trades,” caring for any person, animal, or situation that crossed her path.

 

Yesterday was one of those days school administrators pray they will never have to face. Teachers not only teach together, they attend church together, spend time with each other’s families, and raise their own children together. This loss will be felt just as the loss of a family member.

 

On that note, I would like to commend our Benton Team and the Neosho Police Department for the handling of yesterday’s events. Everyone on scene reacted with swiftness and discipline to divert the parents to the front of the building and allow emergency responders to do their job. Thank you for your tremendous efforts and compassion in this difficult time.

 

Last, we would like to thank our neighboring schools for their support, prayers, and kind words. It is a blessing to be surrounded by such an incredible education community.

 

It takes a team to handle tragedies and we thank everyone for being there with us.

 

We ask for your prayers for Ms. Hayes’ family, the Benton Elementary family, and all of Wildcat Nation.

--

Statement from MSSU President, Dr. Alan Marble:

“Our hearts go out to the Neosho School District and the Neosho community over the tragic loss of one of their kindergarten teachers, Angel Hayes. Angel was a 1994 MSSU teacher education graduate. She clearly possessed the attributes of a great teacher - serving in any capacity needed to keep children safe. The Lion family sends condolences to her colleagues, students and family during this difficult time.”

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