Today was the first day of classes for Harwell Elementary School since the death of first grade teacher Maricela Hinojosa last Friday. She passed away after an accident on South Loop 289 in between University and I-27 and today teachers remember the life of a great friend.
Diana Castillo is a second year teacher at Harwell Elementary. She and Maricela shared a wall and always joked with each other in between classes.
"I constantly saw her teaching and she would see me teaching and give input," Castillo said. "Or I would just run in there and tease her or scare her, scream at her, whatever I needed to do."
Castillo also saw Maricela as a role model and said she still thinks Maricela will walk through the door.
"It was very difficult coming to school this morning," she said.
Harwell's principal Sevro Alvarado had Maricela as a first grade teacher when he was in elementary school. He described working with her as surreal, but will always be thankful for the impact she had on his life.
"She was a very kind individual, would do anything for you. And just her love and her patience - that's what I will remember most about her," said Alvarado.
"We had a meeting this morning, for example, with the staff members and kind of had a small memorial so we could remember and pray for her. It's going to take a very long while to get that full healing."
One of the things that he will miss the most is her presence around the school.
"Her attitude towards her children, her behaviors and her positive attitude. I think that encouraged a lot of the teachers to continue to do the same, to have the same passion and commitment that she had."
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