Gray community promises to #LoveLikeCherylOgle after teacher's sudden passing
GRAY, Ga. -- The Gray community is mourning the sudden loss of a beloved teacher, but finding a way to spread the love she gave so freely.
Cheryl Ogle, a Gray Elementary teacher, collapsed at her home Friday and passed away.
The 42-year-old woman's two young sons tried to revive Ogle, but were unsuccessful, according to her husband, Trey.
Ogle taught at Gray Elementary for 20 years. She headed up The Guardian Angels program at the school, an organization that reaches out to those who have suffered losses.
"I think every boy and girl left here every day knowing that if nothing else was going well in their lives, Cheryl Ogle adored them," said Monica Tritto, a close friend of Ogle's. "We want to be better teachers because of her."
Her husband said she passed away wearing her Guardian Angel tee shirt.
As other teachers in the community learned of Ogle's passing Friday morning, they jumped at the chance to help in any way possible. Teachers from other schools in the Jones County School System went to Gray Elementary to cover classrooms so teachers, friends of Ogle, could mourn together.
"Many of us felt this helplessness, but a need to honor her in a way that best fit her personality and who she was," Tritto said.
Quickly, the hashtag #LoveLikeCherylOgle spread across Facebook and Instagram in hopes of spreading her kindness even after her passing.
"And yet it started out as something really small, but just like Cheryl's love, it spread," Tritto said.
Tritto said when students and staff returned to Gray Elementary Monday, it was evident something had changed.
"Today was obviously a very difficult day for us here," Tritto said. "First day coming back to a school that's never going to be the same again. You know Cheryl was all about helping other people. Always. As long as I've known her, that was her number one passion."
Tritto said that while her friend's death is a tragedy, the community is already seeing so much good come from it.
"For the whole idea of loving like Cheryl Ogle to take over, I just think we can make our little piece of the world a better place," Tritto said. "I hope so. She would really love that.
Her husband asks that in lieu of flowers, people donate to the Guardian Angels program or purchase a book in her honor for the Gray Elementary Children's Library at 365 GA Highway 18 E, Gray, GA.