MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Barret's Chapel Elementary teacher Melanie Jerden, 45, passed away Monday at her home.
Jerden taught special education. She leaves behind a husband and three children.
Students and parents in the Arlington community are heartbroken.
"Mrs. Jerden was the kindest, gentlest person who loved all of our children and gave herself to everyone," wrote Barret's Chapel principal Barbara Hodge in a letter to parents. "She always had a smile and encouraging word for each of us on those days when life seemed to be a struggle."
The school is collecting donations and the Jerden family set up a GoFundMe to help with funeral expenses. Click here if you'd like to help.