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Big Ridge Elementary remembers assistant principal who passed away unexpectedly

Connie McDade worked for Hamilton County Schools for more than 20 years. (Image: Family of Connie McDade)

Students, teachers and staff say goodbye to their beloved assistant principal.

Tuesday, Connie McDade was laid to rest after she passed away from a medical condition last week.

At Big Ridge Elementary, white wreaths hang on the front doors of the school.

"We all lost a dear friend, teacher, mentor," Principal Jeana Johnson said.

Connie McDade was Johnson's good friend.

She says the whole school is trying to find a way to move on.

McDade's office is still decorated with with signs that talk about being kind and positive. Her students say it wasn't just something she taught, but lived by.

"She just really made you happy every time she would see you," Caden Simpson said.

Her students say she never met a stranger.

"She was just a great teacher at Big Ridge and it's just like a piece of all of us are just missing now because we can't see her anymore," 3rd Grader Sophie Day said.

Teachers say they spent the last two days talking to students about loss and grief.

"It's always hard when someone passes away but someone as strong as Connie, it was never a thought," Elizabeth Smith, a teacher at Big Ridge, said.

Some teachers even say their students are showing them how to be strong right now, like Sophie Day.

"It's just like we can't really have any new memories but we can still rely on our old ones and we can still have her by our memories," Sophie said.

McDade was married to Assistant Superintendent Dr. Lee McDade.

Last week, they celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary.

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