Teaching Profession

Educators We Lost to COVID, 2020-2022

Some of the teachers, principals, coaches, counselors, and other staff members who died in the pandemic
April 03, 2020 | Updated: December 19, 2022 1 min read
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This page is no longer being updated. The last data update was on Dec. 19, 2022.

COVID-19 took more than 1 million American lives—young and old, men and women, people of all backgrounds.

Among the educators we lost was a teacher who taught her students online the day before she died. Another was a school climate counselor at his alma mater who supported students struggling with behavior. Some of them had retired, but were still vividly remembered for their deep impact on students’ lives.

As of December 19, 2022—the final update of this memorial gallery—at least 1,308 active and retired K-12 educators and personnel had died of COVID-19. Of those, 451 were active teachers.

Our final recorded death—on Sept. 14, 2022—was teacher Jennifer Hawkins Mason, 61, who taught at Farmingville Elementary School in Ridgefield, Conn. The first death we documented was Rushia Stephens, a 65-year-old retired teacher in Atlanta, who died on March 19, 2020, right as the world was shutting down.

In this memorial, we documented many of the dedicated educators lost to their communities and to the field. It is not a comprehensive collection, as we relied on published obituaries, local news reports, and other verifiable sources to confirm the deaths. We know there are many deaths our gallery did not capture.

In addition to our own reporting and reader submissions, here are some other sources Education Week used to identify and/or confirm names to include in this gallery: Amalgamated Transit Union memorial, American Federation of Teachers memorial, Dignitymemorial.com, Google alerts and search of local media reports, Legacy.com, Lexis-Nexis, @losttocovid Twitter account, the United Federation of Teachers memorial, and the UTLA memorial.

Click the tabs to see the educators we’ve lost to the coronavirus in past years. Please allow time for the galleries to fully load.

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Vol. 39, Issue 37, Page 1

Published in Print: July 15, 2020, as Immeasurable Loss

Reporting: Lesli A. Maxwell
Design/Visualization: Emma Patti Harris

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