Gautier School Mourns Death Of Beloved Kindergarten Teacher - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/01/03

Gautier School Mourns Death Of Beloved Kindergarten Teacher

Students and faculty at a Gautier Elementary school are trying to cope with the murder of a much loved kindergarten teacher. Evelyn Ewing spent the last 12 years teaching at Singing River Elementary. When Ewing didn't show up for work on Monday, Jackson County sheriff's deputies went to her home.and found her dead.

On Tuesday Danielle Thomas went to Singing River where students and teachers hung dark ribbons on the doors to show how they are a school in mourning.

"Dear Miss Ewing, I like the way you took us outside on computer days," said one of the cards kindergartners made after learning about Evelyn Ewing's death.

"Miss Ewing I hope you are having a good time in Heaven. I love you Miss Ewing. Miss you," read another.

They used crayons and construction paper to express of their feelings.

Debby Renfroe, a teacher who sometimes sat in on Ewing's classes, says it didn't take long to see why students loved her.

"The main thing I can say about the way she dealt with her children was patience," said Renfroe. "She had more patience than any teacher I've ever worked with before, and she would just go many extra miles to make sure she got the best that she could get."

Pascagoula Director of Elementary Education Jo Ann Wavra said "She loved children. She had no children of her own. So these children were her children and she treated them as such."

The school principal went to each class on Monday to personally deliver the news that a long time kindergarten teacher had died. He says some students wanted to talk more about their feelings and were allowed to go see counselors.

The children aren't the only ones having trouble coping. Some staff members say Ewing was a person who was always willing to help out. Now that she's gone, they say it's difficult to walk past her classroom.

"She's been here 12 years and you just expect to see her and it's a shock is what it is and then numbness sets in and then distraction," Wavra said.

The principal at Singing River Elementary says the school brought in a permanent substitute teacher for Evelyn Ewing's class for the rest of the year. He says he wanted kindergartners to have some consistency in the classroom.

Autopsy results show Evelyn Ewing died from a single gunshot wound to the head. Deputies say her husband 51 year-old Roger Craig Ewing is a suspect and is wanted for questioning. If you have any information as to Robert Ewing's whereabouts call the Jackson County Sheriff's department.

by Danielle Thomas

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