Bartow County elementary school honors parapro killed in crash

A Bartow elementary school is honoring one of its paraprofessionals who was killed in February. Angie Townsend was killed during a high-speed chase involving the Georgia State Patrol. The suspect being chased crashed into Townsend's car killing her.

"Just as a butterfly goes from plant to plant showing off its beauty, that's how Angie was," described Amy Heater, the principal at White Elementary School.

Townsend was never without a laugh or a smile and spent most of her time fluttering from classroom to classroom. That's why White Elementary School knew it would be so fitting to name a butterfly garden after their longtime paraprofessional was killed.

"She would probably say, 'They shouldn't have done all that. I was just doing my job,'" said Jim Walker, Towsend's Dad.

To the students and staff at White Elementary School, Towsend was so much more than a teacher. She was a mom and a special friend when they needed it most.

"She loved children. There was nothing better than children to her," said Walker.

Surrounded by her coworkers and family, school officials unveiled a butterfly garden in honor of Townsend. It was a labor of love that was created with the help of more than 15 community partners.

"Ms. Townsend was full of energy, and she loved to flutter around from class to class visiting various students that she had in the past," said Heater.

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Townsend worked as a paraprofessional for 23 years. She was dedicated to her school and her students.

"That's what she talked about... different kids that did different things and how they were learning," said Walker.

Townsend was killed in a crash in February when Georgia State Patrol troopers were chasing a suspect with a stolen vehicle. The suspect ended up crashing into Towsend's vehicle killing her. Her family is still distraught.

"It's the worst thing that's ever happened to us. Children are supposed to bury their parents. Parents are not supposed to bury their children," said Walker.

The school plans to use the garden as an outdoor classroom so other students can learn in Townsend's memory.

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