Tippens Education Center

Tippens Education Center

A paraprofessional at Tippens Educational Center died of COVID-19 Monday, according to Cherokee County School District.

The 58-year-old employee had been hospitalized after becoming ill with the coronavirus last month, district spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby told the Tribune Wednesday. She declined to release his name, citing privacy laws. Principal Kim Barger called families of students the paraprofessional supported to inform them of his death.

“He had worked for CCSD for four years and was beloved by the students he supported, their families and his colleagues. Tippens is a small close-knit family, and he was known by all for his kindness and compassion,” Jacoby wrote in an email.

“We continue to ask everyone in our community — even if you have been vaccinated — to protect themselves and our community by social distancing, wearing a mask, staying home when sick, seeking testing when sick, and following guidelines when quarantined,” Jacoby said.

The Tippens paraprofessional marks the third reported CCSD employee lost to COVID-19. In July, a school district facility technician died, and a bus driver became ill over the winter break with the virus and died in January.

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Shannon Ballew is the managing editor at the Cherokee Tribune and the Cherokee Ledger-News. She is a graduate of Young Harris College and lives in unincorporated Woodstock.

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