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Johnson City teacher dies after collapsing in class

NET News Service • Aug 14, 2007 at 12:00 AM

A middle school teacher collapsed in class Tuesday at University School and died a short time later at a nearby hospital, East Tennessee State University officials said.

Kimberly D. Roberts, 40, who taught math, science and social studies courses, died at Johnson City Medical Center’s emergency room, where she had been transported from ETSU’s Alexander Hall by Washington County-Johnson City Emergency Medical Services.

“Our sense of loss — at University School and across the institution — is profound,” ETSU President Paul Stanton said in a written statement. “On behalf of the East Tennessee State University community, I extend deepest sympathy to Mrs. Roberts’ family at this most difficult time.”

Roberts collapsed just as the school day began about 8 a.m., ETSU spokeswoman Kristn Fry said, and students were present at the time.

ETSU Public Safety Sgt. Mark Tipton and University School Director Deborah DeFrieze administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation until EMS arrived, ETSU said in the statement.

The administration was making counselors available for students and fellow teachers. Fry said it was her understanding that the school also allowed students to leave early on Tuesday if they desired.

Students had tentatively planned a memorial service to honor Roberts at 7:30 a.m. today at the ETSU Foundation Carillon in the main quadrangle on the university’s campus.

Roberts had taught at the K-12 laboratory school operated by ETSU’s Clemmer College of Education since 2003, according to her pages on University School’s Web site. She was Tennessee’s Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year in 2005 and University School’s Teacher of the Year in 2004.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Clinch Valley College of the University of Virginia (now UVA’s College at Wise) in 1990 and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech in 2001.

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