NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) – A local high school is in mourning after the shocking murder of one of its teachers over the weekend. On Monday students returned to the class at the North Port school – the first day since the death.
On Friday night a man and his estranged wife met at a Port Charlotte McDonald’s to swap their 11-year-old son, Charlotte County deputies said. But, the man allegedly murdered his wife before turning the gun on himself.
Officials later identified the victim as Antoinette Gordon, a language arts teacher at North Port High School.
“There’s very real grief, very real sorrow,” Principal David Jones said.
Gordon had been a teacher at the school since 2005. She spent her free time on Thursday afternoons mentoring students.
“We’ve been very blessed here at North Port High School. We have a lot of teachers that care and care deeply. But you can’t buy that heart. You can learn the teaching skills, but you can never buy the heart,” Jones said.
Gordon’s students set up a makeshift memorial on Monday. They left flowers and wrote notes for the teacher affectionately known as Mama G.
“The kids were important to her, and they knew it,” Assistant Principal Shannon Fusco said.
The community has pitched in to help the school community get through this heartbreaking time. Local schools sent grief counselors to help students. Fellow principals volunteered to cook breakfast, with food donated by a local Publix, for North Port High School staff.
“(She was) one remarkable woman. Very caring, very passionate, very kind, very committed to her students,” Jones said.
Another teacher will take over Gordon’s courses for the last few weeks of school.
WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON RIGHT NOW:
- Man dies in Pinellas nursing home, possible abuse investigated
- Billboard questioning homosexuality sparks controversy
- Classmates mourn student killed in motorcycle crash in Hillsborough
- Ringling elephants to retire after weekend RI performance
- Life Hacks for Mom: Tips and tricks in the kitchen
- Massive fire burns church in NYC
- Dogs get airport bathrooms of their own
- Fire department won’t let police live it down after elevator rescue in Kansas City
- >>Back to the homepage for breaking news and the latest headlines