East Texas high schools mourn loss of 2 students

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - By Sara Story - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - It is the time most students are celebrating the end of the school year, but Brownsboro and Cayuga High Schools are dealing with the tragic loss of two of their peers.

Wednesday afternoon, students at Brownsboro High School learned their classmate, Alex Conway, had died.

"Anytime someone passes away, it does one of two things: It usually takes you further away from your faith or closer to their faith," said Kenneth Wooten, the principal at Brownsboro High School. He is encouraging students to cling to their faith and help each other get through this tragic situation.

Counselors and local ministers are also available to help students and teachers. "It is very difficult on [teachers] as well; they grow very attached to their kids," said Wooten.

Jeff Russell was Conway's band director and was in the band hall when he learned of her death. "One of our students said, there is not better place than being in that band hall," said Russell. "He said that is family to them."

Nearly 40 miles away from Brownsboro, another East Texas high school lost one of their own. Lindsey LeMon was a sophomore at Cayuga High School. She was on her way home from school with her brother when a car crossed the center line and crashed into them.

"It's devastating because the kids become more like your own personal kids, so when you lose one it affects me like it is one of mine," said Bill Shead, the principal at Cayuga High School.

LeMon's death was announced Wednesday morning at a school assembly. Since then, students have written notes to the LeMon family and are leaning on each other. "We are just rallying around each other and trying to make each other strong again," said Melvin Shead, one of LeMon's classmates.

"With a situation like this, you have to make sure you are doing everything each day of your life to make sure you are living to the fullest," said Shead. He said they're moving forward, while remembering the spaces left behind by their beloved classmates and friends.

A tragedy fund for Alex Conway has been set up in her name at Southside Bank.

A funeral service for Lindsey LeMon has been set for Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Cayuga High School gym.

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