St. Johns County middle school teacher dies of COVID-19; family says she always put students first

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The St. Johns County School District is mourning the loss of a Pine Island Academy teacher.

Korey Harrington was an ESE middle school teacher. Her family confirmed with Action News Jax she died from COVID-19.

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The family was not ready to speak on camera today. But on the phone, her mother and sister told Action News Jax they comforted her when she passed.

They described her as a phenomenal teacher, saying she loved her job, lived for her students and always putting them first.

Harrington’s family gave us permission to use photos for our newscast. Harrington was an ESE middle school teacher at Pine Island Academy and previously was at Nease High School, working with special needs students.

Her mother told Action News Jax she was proud of her. And though such a bright spot, Harrington never wanted the recognition and remained humble.

A message from the Pine Island Academy principal was sent to families, stating Harrington’s commitment to her students was never in doubt. It reads in part:

“She never hesitated to offer her support to anyone in need. She worked throughout the summer to ensure our students were ready for the transition to a new school and there were days we had to tell her to go home.”

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From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., her mother said Harrington was always on the job, working to bring the most out of her students.

Her sister told Action News Jax that Harrington was the kindest person she’s ever known and that she’ll deeply miss her sister.

On Thursday, the district confirmed school counselors and support groups will be at school to talk with students and staff as needed.