Two more Cobb County School District educators have died from COVID-19 complications.
Dana Johnson, a first grade teacher at Kemp Elementary School, died Thursday from the virus, according to Kemp principal Billy Pritz.
Johnson had a condition that caused lung disease, according to a GoFundMe fundraiser established by her friend, Josee Levitt. She was admitted to the hospital Dec. 6 and was also diagnosed with double pneumonia.
Pritz wrote an email to families of students at the school to inform them of Johnson’s death.
“Mrs. Johnson was a vital part of our academic community and has served our students in all her heart,” he wrote. “Our hearts are broken for the Johnson family, and we mourn together with them and all of our school community. Her passing serves as a vivid reminder of our community’s need to make every effort to be as safe and healthy as we can. Please keep the Johnson family in your thoughts and prayers. We will share arrangements with the Kemp community as soon as possible.”
Superintendent Chris Ragsdale offered condolences to Johnson’s family during the school board’s work session Thursday.
“Our hearts are broken over this loss,” Ragsdale said. “She was beloved by her team members and the parents that made up the community of Kemp.”
School district spokesperson Nan Kiel also shared a statement:
“Every member of our school community has been impacted by the ongoing battle against COVID-19. We continue to ask our staff, students, and families to follow public health guidance — wear masks and social distance — so we can stay as healthy as possible. Our hearts go out to the Johnson family and the entire Kemp community. Ms. Johnson was a valuable part of our academic community. The outpouring of support for her family during this difficult time shows how much she was loved and positively impacted those around her.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the fundraiser for Johnson had raised over $36,000. To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/f/fundraiser-for-dana-johnson.
Then Thursday afternoon, Cynthia Lindsey, a Sedalia Park Elementary school paraprofessional, died due to COVID-19, according to a GoFundMe page set up on her behalf at www.gofundme.com/f/cynthia-lindsey-medical-expenses.
Lindsey had been hospitalized for 12 days with pneumonia and was on a ventilator, according to the page.
“Cynthia Lindsey passed away this afternoon with her family by her side,” Deborah Perdue, the page’s organizer, wrote. “Funeral arrangements are pending and the funds we raised will be used for her funeral and other expenses. We will let you know about further arrangements.”
As of Thursday afternoon, the page had raised over its $10,000 goal, and had set a new goal of $12,000.
The two deaths come just under a month after Cobb Schools lost its first teacher to the virus. Patrick Key, 53, was an art teacher at Hendricks Elementary School who lived in Marietta. He died Christmas Day.
MDJ reporter Chart Riggall contributed to this report.