Woodenbong grieves teacher's death
By ROSEMARY CLARK Star Correspondent
WOODENBONG Central School's tight-knit Year 12 class was shocked by the sudden death of teacher Nerida Austin just two days before their Higher School Certificate exams.
The 44-year-old information processes and technology (IPT) teacher suffered a heart attack on Sunday night.
One of the school's 13 HSC students, Sonya Hines, said she could not stop thinking about Mrs Austin's three young daughters throughout her IPT exam on Monday morning.
Student Hope Elliott said Mrs Austin would be sadly missed, however, she had given students enough motivation to cope with their exams.
"Students who weren't even in her class could approach her for help with presentation on projects. We could work with Mrs Austin on equal terms," she said.
"Looking back, I think Mrs Austin gave us the strength to get through this week."
School principal John Charles said the students were devastated when they heard the news.
"Death is always confronting and we will never know how much this even has affected our students," he said.
"But they have faced up to the challenge of their exams well."
Younger students wrote down their thoughts as a way of coming to terms with the loss.
The thoughts will be read at Mrs Austin's funeral at Kyogle's St James Anglican Church at 11am today.
Mrs Austin worked at the school for 10 years. She is survived by her husband and three daughters.