Outpouring of love for slain teacher
Barrington Flemming, Gleaner Writer
DAPHNE CAMPBELL, the mother of slain school teacher Tania Christie-Lowe, was a picture of distress when The Gleaner caught up with her yesterday at the Harrison Memorial High School, in St James, the institution where her daughter taught.
"I'm just coming from the doctor, my pressure gone way up. I am just trying to see if I can cope," muttered a grief-stricken Campbell as tears danced around her eyes. "She was a good girl, I could call on her anytime, she was good ... ."
Christie-Lowe was killed by an unknown assailant at her Pitfour, Granville, home on Saturday evening, minutes after arriving home from a church service.
Miss Campbell was grieving alongside teachers who had congregated in the staff room of the institution, where her beloved daughter taught for more than 14 years.
The atmosphere at the school was quite sombre, despite a visit from members of a grief counselling unit from the Ministry of Education, which hosted a general counselling session with students, teachers and other staff members.
On what was the first day of school since Christie-Lowe's murder, internal exams were suspended and classes dismissed early.
The current and past students, who turned up at the school in large numbers, spoke freely and lovingly about Christie-Lowe, describing her as an excellent teacher, confidante and friend.
"It is not hard to remember that she was a very caring teacher. If there was something that you did not understand, she would always make the time. She showed that she was interested in you doing better than just OK," said past student Randy Mctyson. "She was not only a teacher, she was also a friend. It is really very sad, I was close to her. It is very tragic and I am really so saddened by it."
Savanna Cooke had very fond memories of the woman who was her class teacher. Cooke told The Gleaner that Christie-Lowe impacted her life in a very positive way.
"She was a very loving person, she cared about her students, she would influence you to do everything possible to achieve your goal," remarked Cooke. "Right now I know that I am not going to see her another day and it makes me feel very sad. If there was one last thing that I could say to her is 'thank you Miss for everything that you taught me'."
While the school's principal Sriya Smalling was too shaken to speak to The Gleaner, vice-principal Winsome Willis said Christie-Lowe was a real gem, an asset, a friend and a multi-talented person.
"They have wronged Mrs Lowe. Tania should not have been taken away from us that way ... those wicked, ungodly persons chose to take out somebody so valuable in such a cruel way," said Willis.
"She was that person who could fit into any niche and she is really going to be missed really badly by the staff. She was the type of person every member of staff wants to work with. She would not shun any form of work. That is one of the reasons for her being so loved," added Willis.
Christie-Lowe was initially employed to teach geography and social studies. However, last year she was asked to be the librarian and teach part-time geography and social studies to the grades 10 and 11 students, and she also taught Spanish to Grade 7.
Apart from her teaching job, she coordinated extra-curricular activities including the school's choir, graduation and graduation speeches.