Days after divers discovered missing teacher Terrilynn Monette’s car in Bayou St. John, members of the community are still going to the scene to pay respects.
Darian Trotter spoke to several people offering condolences and thanking State Rep. Austin Badon for his role in the recovery.
“This young lady was a teacher of our most valuable assets our children,” Badon said.
The bridge over bayou St. John at Harrison Avenue & Wisner Boulevard has a growing memorial for Terrilynn Monette.
It was created by a steady stream, from the caring community, who’ve come to pay respects ever since the once missing teacher’s car & body were recovered.
Trotter asked, “What are your thoughts today? That I hope that the full story will be disclosed; that the family might understand what happened,” Pastor Brenda Square said. “It’s a terrible tragedy, this loss.”
The 26-year old Woodland West Elementary School teacher was last seen March 2nd, at a Lakeview bar; where she was celebrating her nomination for ‘Teacher of The Year.’
Since then there had been repeated searches of area waterways; but it wasn’t until Saturday that a diver discovered Monette’s submerged Honda Accord.
Now the community is joining Monette’s family in thanking State Rep. Austin Badon, who spearheaded several of the searches; especially Monette’s mother.
“You know my wife and I we watched the pain and anguish on her face and I know I had to do something,” Badon said.
“I’m glad he participated,” Monette’s cousin Donald Parker said. “I’m glad he did; if it hadn’t been for him we wouldn’t have this closure at all.”
“We’re all deeply saddened; saddened for her students, sad for her family, sad for ourselves,” said Woodland West Principal Amy Hoyle.
Hoyle says Monette’s school family is equally pleased.
“We’re grateful for his determination and helping to find her and answer some of our looming questions,” Hoyle said.
That’s how Pastor Brenda Square of Beecher Memorial United Church of Christ sees it.
She says in this case Badon was a true leader.
“He had the platform to gather the people and he was compelled to do something and that’s what leaders are called to do and I just thank god he was able to do this; to bless this family and bless this community,” Pastor Square said.
A book drive in Monette’s honor is underway at Woodland West Elementary School.
The public is asked to donate books there.
A memorial service for Terrilynn Monette in New Orleans is pending.