Heartbroken Atlantic Coast High School community mourns loss of beloved teacher

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — On Sunday evening, Connor Davis, a senior student at Atlantic Coast High School, said he was devastated.

"She was just a really cheery, fun-loving, upbeat kind of person," Davis said.

He just found out that his beloved teacher Vivian James won’t be at school to greet him when students return from winter break.

His mother, Melissa, said she received a phone call from the high school letting them know that Ms. James died.

“She was definitely a spitfire, I mean, she was a little lady with a lot of personality,” Melissa Davis said.

Action News Jax also found a post on the Atlantic Coast High School Parent Teacher Student Association’s Facebook account confirming that they lost one of their own.

Action News Jax reported Saturday when a woman was found dead inside her home in the Cedar Hills area.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said foul play is suspected and they’re investigating her death as a homicide.

Teachers who spoke with Action News Jax reporter Alicia Tarancon were too heartbroken to go on camera, but they said Ms. James was an amazing person who was brutally honest, helpful and gave the world’s best hugs.

They’ve even started the hashtag #justicefor4msjames.

Davis told Tarancon Ms. James was teaching his college life skills class, but he previously had her for chemistry too.

He said he’s going to miss the energy she brought to the Stingrays’ community.

“Just being able to go say, ‘hello,’ whenever I want to. Every Friday, she would play music in the class and dance to it and have fun, just bring joy to everybody,” Davis said.

Atlantic Coast High School PTSA said there would be grief counselors on campus next week to help students and faculty mourn the loss.

A tribute video has been posted to the school’s TV Production YouTube account. You can watch the video below or click here.