LEXINGTON, N.C. (WGHP) — Longtime Davidson County teacher Billie Coleman passed away after contracting COVID-19, according to the family.
“I don’t think we’ve really processed that she’s gone,” said Staci Causey, Coleman’s sister. “She gave her life to teaching.”
Coleman taught for nearly three decades. She spent more than 10 years with Asheboro City Schools before transitioning to Davidson County Schools.
For the past two years, she taught sixth grade at Central Davidson Middle School.
Causey said her 49-year-old sister had so much life ahead of her. She did what she loved until her death.
“It was just like I’m that person that’s going to lose a family member to COVID,” she said. “I thought it happened to other people, and I’m one of those people now.”
Causey told FOX8 Coleman was not vaccinated but planned to get the shot.
“She was going to get it,” she said. “You think maybe you’ll get sick. You think you might be at home for a week. I don’t think people think they’re actually going to die from it.”
Causey believed her sister contracted the virus while working at school.
“I heard half her class was out with COVID,” Causey said. “She spent just so much time at work, dedicating herself to her work and then to die because of her work. It’s really tragic.”
On Sept. 2, the sixth grade English teacher quarantined after some of her students were exposed to COVID.
At first, she felt fine. Six days later on Sept. 8, she was rushed to the hospital.
“When she first went into the hospital, it was just an oxygen mask, so we were really grateful that she wasn’t on the ventilator,” she said. “Then when I heard she was on the ventilator, that’s when we got scared.”
Coleman spent 10 days battling the virus, eight of those days on a ventilator. She passed away on Sept. 18.
“She’s come through a lot of rough situations in her life, and I thought this will be another situation that she pulls through…when she didn’t, it was just really hard to believe,” Causey said. “It’s still hard to believe.”
Coleman was a week shy of her 50th birthday. Her family was planning a celebration. Now, causey’s wish is for people to get vaccinated and wear a mask.
“I believe everybody should be vaccinated,” Causey said. “I know a lot of people have reservations about it, but I think it’s a precaution you should take.”
CDMS released the following statement on Coleman’s passing:
“Please keep our CDMS staff and students in your thoughts and prayers as we lost a beloved member of our Spartan family this weekend, Billie Coleman. Miss Coleman was a 6th grade teacher who will be greatly missed. Her smile and compassion for learning and teaching will always be remembered.”
The Davidson County Association of Educators released the following statement on Coleman’s passing:
“Billie was a longtime member of our local teacher’s organization and her loss is felt by, not only those whose lives she touched as a teacher in the classroom, but all of us in Davidson County Schools. There is a lot of sadness in our hearts tonight because of her death.”