Bradenton assistant principal killed in accident Friday - WFLA News Channel 8

Bradenton assistant principal killed in accident Friday

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BRADENTON, FL (WFLA) -

The assistant principal at Jesse P Miller elementary school in Manatee County died Friday night. 41-year-old Wendy Suarez had been working at the school for two years.  Staff and friends remember her as a compassionate educator who lit up the room when she entered. "She was very beloved. She had great relationships here. People knew she cared about the kids," said Barry Dunn, Principal.

 Grief counselors were on campus today to help staff and students cope with the loss. Students wrote cards and letters to her family.  The messages said "I will miss you" and "You were a gift".

 Suarez was driving to visit her brother in Jupiter Friday evening when she stopped to get directions.  Somehow she got out of her car and walked into the road and was struck by a car and killed. 

Suarez was also an inspiration to those around her because of her commitment to fitness.  In the last year and a half, she lost more than 50lbs and took up running. She recently ran in a 5k in St. Petersburg and planned to run a half marathon next month."You could see the change in her. Not just physically, she was just happy and always a light, a shining light to everybody around her, very positive," said Dunn. Dunn and Suarez supported each other and he was also motivated to lose 70lbs.

Suarez is survived by a husband and two teenaged children.

Funeral arrangements haven't been finalized.

Stay with WFLA.com for more information as it comes available.

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