Students mourn the loss of Danvers math teacher
DANVERS, Mass. (WHDH) -- Administrators canceled school early Wednesday morning as authorities investigated the murder of high school math teacher, Colleen Ritzer. However, students, parents and colleagues still showed up at Danvers to pay their respects to their teacher.
“She was a really great teacher. Always had a great attitude and it's very upsetting that this happened to her,” said Amanda Backe, student.
The Danvers school department said it, "lost a dynamic and brilliant ray of light. Colleen Ritzer was everything one could ask for in a teacher - dedicated, passionate and invested in her students."
It’s something students and fellow teachers knew about Colleen.
“She was one of the nicest teachers at Danvers, always went out of her way to talk to you, always saying hi to everybody. It’s a real tragedy,” said Chris Weimert, Danvers High School student.
“She loved math. She loved everything about math, even on Facebook and everything. She was always asking other people advice to -- you know, to teach students better, new lesson plans. Every day she talked about math. She really loved it, and loved teaching it,” said Ritzer’s friend Charlotte Dzerkacz.
The 24-year-old teacher's body was found in the woods behind the high school and investigators quickly roped off the area.
Student at Danvers are full of conflicting emotions; first they were searching for their classmate, Philip Chism, who was reported missing on Tuesday, and Wednesday they learned he's accused of murder.
A memorial continues to grow as current students and alumni make their way to the front of the school. Students said they hope to have a candlelight vigil for their favorite teacher later Wednesday night.