HOPEWELL, Va. -- Students, staff and the community are mourning the loss of Hopewell High School Assistant Principal Loretta Curtis-LeMay.
Officials with Hopewell City Schools said Curtis-LeMay died unexpectedly Monday.
The assistant principal "made a huge impact at Hopewell High School by making her sweet presence known and felt by everyone with whom she came in contact," the school posted on Facebook Wednesday.
Hopewell High Principal Dr. Stephanie Poe said Curtis-LeMay made a lasting impact even though she just joined the district in July of 2019.
In such a short time, the 52-year-old made a real connection with her students.
"One young lady emailed me and said, ‘I'm so sorry. I'm going to miss her so much because she always was there for me and she helped calm me down,’” Poe said. “I got an email from another young man that said, ‘Best assistant principal ever.’"
Poe recalled Curtis-LeMay’s sense of humor and way of putting the staff and students at ease.
“[She] took everything in stride, very patient with people,” Poe said. "The teachers have talked about, again, the sense of humor she had. She’s fun, someone to laugh and tease with. But you knew she was serious about instruction and very serious about the kids."
Poe said her calmness and even keel in any situation set Curtis-Lemay apart from others in the bustling high school.
Curtis-LeMay, who also worked for Henrico County Public Schools, is survived by her husband, daughter, mother and five sisters, according to her obituary.
A memorial service will be held Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Scott's Chapel at 16 E. Brookland Park Boulevard in Richmond.