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Decatur City Schools mourns loss of beloved teacher

Amanda McCurry, a longtime third-grade teacher at Oak Park Elementary School, passed away suddenly on Sept. 17.
Credit: Decatur City Schools
Amanda McCurry

DECATUR, Ala. — Decatur City Schools is mourning the loss of a beloved teacher.

Amanda McCurry was a longtime third-grade teacher at Oak Park Elementary School, as well as an AHSAA volleyball official.

"As a superintendent, not only did Mrs. McCurry and I have a professional relationship inside the school system, her daughter played on a sports team with one of my children. She loved her family and sporting events," said Dr. Michael Douglas, Superintendent of Decatur City Schools. 

“Amanda was such an asset to our school and will be tremendously missed by the students she served and the faculty she’s worked with for many years,” said Dr. Theodoria Jackson, Principal of Oak Park Elementary School.

DCS says she is survived by her husband Chris and their daughter Lily Beth.

Mrs. McCurry was honored by WZDX as a Valley's Top Teacher in 2019. Staff and students had nothing but nice things to say about her:

Mrs. McCurry’s classroom at Oak Park Elementary in Decatur is decorated as the Hollywood marquee lights and every kid is a star.

“I want them to be comfortable, I want them to be happy and feel good when they come into my classroom,” explains Amanda McCurry, the Valley’s Top teacher. “It’s not really my classroom, it’s their classroom.”

But it’s not just the decorations that create an atmosphere that allows growth. She lets her kids know that it is okay to struggle and she wants them to always come to her when they need help.

“If you mess up on a problem, she helps you with it,” says 3rd grade student, Aiden Kilpatric.

“Like if we are stuck on a math problem, we can just go up to her and she helps us,” says Haylee Brakeman, another third grade student.

Mrs. McCurry helps them learn, but also knows how to bring some fun to the classroom and likes to be a little silly.

“She makes whale noises. She did it one day and it made the whole class laugh,” smiles Haylee Brakeman.

RELATED: Amanda McCurry Wins Valley’s Top Teacher

Mrs. Mccurry says her third graders are her babies and she can’t control what goes on at home, but she wants them to know her classroom is a place where they are safe and can find support.

“I want them to know that there is somebody that cares about them and loves them, and that will take care of them when I am with them at school,” says Mrs. Mccurry. “They are the reason that I am a teacher and I’m here. I love the children and I want them to succeed. They are my babies.”

Her students say she is the best teacher they have ever had.

“She’s nice and she is calm and she is a good teacher,” shares Aiden Kilpatric.

Mrs. McCurry shows them how to do math and how to read, but the most important thing she wants to show them is love.

“If that is all they get, that I can give them a hug that they don’t get at home, I want to be there for them for that.”

RELATED: Nominate your favorite teacher to be featured on the WZDX News