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School mourns loss of assistant principal

Posted at 5:41 PM, Jan 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-05 04:08:45-05

The flag is at half staff at Glendale Elementary School in Vero Beach.  Inside the giant gator's mouth out front, are flowers.  The sign says, "We love you Ms. Cooper."

Kids came back to school in Indian River County Monday, but assistant principal Janai Cooper, did not. Cooper died Dec. 23, struck and killed by a car driven by her boyfriend who did not realize she was behind the vehicle.

Glendale Elementary Principal Adam Faust says Janai was passionate about education.

“She was the Energizer bunny.  She always brought it back to what was best for the kids," said Faust who first met Cooper three years ago.

Third-grader Preston Lloyd says kids talked about Cooper in class today.

“Saying goodbye and how she was really nice to us and how she’s very special.”

Preston’s mom says Cooper made an impact.

“Halloween they dress up as storybook characters.  I think they’re very fun and adventurous," said Jan Lloyd.

Because family meant so much to Cooper, not only her own family but her Glendale family, the cafeteria here will be renamed the Super Cooper Cafe.

Outside Coopers’ office, a colleague taped a note, and students began to put a giant mural together with heartfelt messages.

Faust says Cooper would want the campus to continue pushing forward.

“I can see her looking down on us and saying ‘Get back to work Adam and get the team going," said Faust.

Funeral services will be held Friday.