Las Cruces middle school teacher dies of COVID-19

Las Cruces News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A Las Cruces teacher who had been teaching since 1991 has died of COVID-19, Las Cruces Public Schools confirmed Sunday.

Sylvia L. Garcia, 60, died early Sunday, the district said. She taught math and reading intervention at Lynn Community Middle School, teaching sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students.

“We are devastated,” said LCPS Superintendent Dr. Karen Trujillo. “Sylvia was a beloved, veteran educator with deep roots in this district. Our school family is doing all we can to support her children in this extremely difficult time.”  

Garcia began her career in education in 1991 with LCPS. She taught at Sunrise Elementary, Hermosa Heights Elementary and Valley View Elementary. In 2019, she joined the staff at Lynn Community Middle School.  

“I remember Sylvia’s first email to me,” said Brenda Ballard, principal at Lynn. “She was excited to be at a school where she was needed, and where she felt a deep sense of place. Her late brother was one of the first students at Lynn when the school was built.”  

Ballard said that Garcia had kept in regular communication with her school family after being hospitalized. According to Ballard, it was important to Garcia that she keep her colleagues updated on her prognosis.  

“Sylvia was a deeply committed, invested member of our Lynn family,” Ballard said in a statement. “She was a unique teacher whose reach went beyond the classroom; she invested in the lives of her students and her colleagues and she made students feel like they were her own family. During our remote learning time, she would find ways to engage students in something personal. She knew details about students few others did.

“Hearing news around the nation as it relates to this pandemic just hit home for us.”

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