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Perquimans County teacher collapses during fire drill, dies from heart attack

A 5th-grade teacher at Hertford Grammar School in Perquimans County collapsed during a fire drill and died.

PERQUIMANS COUNTY, N.C. (WVEC) — A 5th-grade science teacher at Hertford Grammar School in Perquimans County collapsed during a fire drill on Thursday and died after being taken to the hospital.

Kim Hunter-Daugherty, a teacher of 21-years, was feeling lightheaded during a fire drill around 9:30 a.m., according to the Perquimans County School District's Superintendent, Matthew F. Cheeseman.

Hunter-Daugherty, 45, sat down in the breezeway before passing out. The school's nurse and EMTs reported to the scene and they attempted to perform CPR.

The teacher was taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead. No students were around when she collapsed.

On Friday, there was a somber mood outside of Hertford Grammar School. John Lassiter, the school Principal, said he and staff changed the school marquee to say, 'If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life.'

“She lived that every single day,” said Lassiter. “One of the first people in our parking lot, one of the last people to leave.”

Hunter-Daugherty was the daughter of Baseball Hall of Famer Jim "Catfish" Hunter, but she went on to create her own legacy.

Lisa Sawyer, a teacher at the school said her dedication to students was unparalleled.

“Everything she did was 100%. She was all about her students, she was all about her family, her faith,” said Sawyer. “That’s the type of legacy she left behind.”

Lassiter said Hunter-Daugherty created a culture of family at the school, which made people look forward being there every day.

“There's some people who are just born to be teachers and Kim was one of those people,” said Lassiter.

On Friday, class was canceled in the entire school district in order to give the community and students a chance to mourn. The school is providing her students with counselors to help them cope with the loss of their beloved teacher.

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