AXTELL, Neb. — Students and staff at Axtell Community School are mourning after the unexpected death of a teacher this week.
Tessa Wilson, 27, died Monday. This was her first year teaching at Axtell.
Superintendent Steve Wickham said Wilson was in class Monday when she began experiencing breathing problems and collapsed.
“The response team came in right away, and they all have some training in medical work,” Wickham said. “They called EMTs right away, and she was conscious at the time. It happened pretty quickly after that.”
Wickham said that Wilson was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney and that he did not know her cause of death.
Wilson taught high school English and oversaw the school’s speech and one-act teams.
“She was very outgoing, very bubbly,” Wickham said. “You don’t coach speech if you don’t have those kind of characteristics.”
During her time at Axtell Community School, Wickham said, Wilson influenced students and teachers.
“The students are pretty upset, and staff members took it pretty hard,” Wickham said. “This doesn’t happen very often in the education area, and you deal with it the best way you can.”
Axtell Community School is providing grief counselors for the students and staff. Wickham said the school received an outpouring of support from other school districts Tuesday. Blue Hill Schools, where Wilson was a student teacher, sent a counselor, as did Minden and Wilcox-Hildreth schools.